Deas McNeil, the Barber, 1976
A new exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem by photographer Dawoud Bey and titled “Harlem, USA” showcases an intimate, black and white portrait of black life in the historic neighborhood in the 1970s — a daily life that was rarely seen in the media.
Bey, who had family members who lived in Harlem, was connected to the neighborhood. His mother and father met at church in Harlem. Bey’s interest in photography was sparked as a teenager after seeing the photographs of famed Harlem photographer James VanDerZee at his 1969 “Harlem on My Mind” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.