Friday, September 26, 2008

Birthplace of the Hip-Hop Revolution: The South Bronx

Photographs (and descriptions) from Mel Rosenthal's In the South Bronx of America, courtesy Duke University Libraries. See the full exhibit here.

I was born and grew up in what is now called the South Bronx. After twenty years away, I returned in 1975, to a neighborhood in ruins. The sturdy well-constructed buildings that had once housed tens of thousands of people were gutted and burned out.

The last building left standing in the neighborhood was on the East 173rd through 174th Street block. A few days after this picture was made, the building was bulldozed and the people who lived there were sent to shelters and single room occupancy hotels.

And here are some vivid images of the South Bronx, from the opening to the 1981 film, Wolfen.

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