About photobooks – old and new.
Ruiko Yoshida (photographs); Hajime Kijima (Text)
Harlem Black Angels
First edition and first printing published in 1974 by Kodansha Ltd
4to, Softcover with photographically illustrated dust jacket and a blue obi
This is the second book by Ruiko Yoshida, who lived in Harlem in the 60s and 70s. In this book she captured various aspects of the local culture and major events, such as the funeral of Malcolm X. Similarly to other Japanese photographers of the post-war period who came to New York, she was drawn by the multicultural context of the city and wanted to share that reality with her Japanese contemporaries.
In addition to street scenes and a humanistic perspective of Harlem, the book includes autobiographical elements of her experience in Harlem, with her husband (an African American) and her child. The life of her child is in fact quite present throughout this book (see images), blurring the frontiers between a personal and an objective documentary of Harlem.
Part of the pictures included in this book were part of the exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power”.