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Jamel Shabazz shares his Journey to Documentary Photography



Jamel Shabazz


Today’s guest on the show is documentary photographer Jamel Shabazz.

Jamel’s contributions to documentary photography are applauded the all over the world and in my humble opinion Brother Shabazz the is the Gordon Parks of my generation. I marveled at his work way before I knew his name. You have no idea how happy it made me feel to sit at a chess table in the middle of Brooklyn and kick it with some who has and still inspires me to do my best with my skill set every single day.

We met up in Dr. Ronald McNair Park across from the Brooklyn Museum to talk about growing up in Brooklyn, self publishing vs traditional publishing, his experience in the military, the summer of 1980, striving to capture images that say something profound, the importance of empathy, the crack era and giving back to the community.

As you are listening to this conversation, I highly recommend you pull up Jamel’s Instagram, website or flip through one of his many photography books as you listen. It will be a great reference to what we are talking about. I’ve provided links to it all at

Side note, we are in the middle of Brooklyn. So, there will be sirens, there will be interruptions and that’s what you get when you record outside in New York, it tends to want to be present right there with you.

That’s enough intro for one show, please enjoy.

More About Jamel Shabazz

  1. Official Site –
  2. Instagram –
  3. Facebook –

Shop for Books by Jamel Shabazz

  1. Back in the Days –
  2. The Last Sunday June –
  3. A Time Before Crack –
  4. Seconds of my Life –
  5. Pieces of a Man: Photography of Jamel Shabazz: 1980-2015 –

Links to the Stuff they Talked About

  1. West Indian Parade –
  2. Eastern Parkway –
  3. Brooklyn Museum –
  4. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens –
  5. 55 Stunning Botanical Gardens You Really Need to See Before You Die –
  6. Powerhouse Books –
  7. Black In White America, a book by photojournalist Leonard Freed –
  8. Alex Haley: The Playboy Interviews –
  9. Platoon (1986) – Rotten Tomatoes –
  10. Marvin Gaye (Song) – What’s Happening Brother –
  11. Luke Cage –
  12. Puma –
  13. Delancey Street –
  14. Riders Island –
  15. Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson –
  16. Short Eyes (Film) –
  17. Attica Correctional Facility –
  18. Crack Cocaine –
  19. Self Destruction (Song) –
  20. The Central Park Five –
  21. Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (Official Lyric Video) –
  22. Book of Eli –
  23. Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture –

This episode is sponsored by Gorilla Coffee.

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