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A Southern Black Community
1947 Photo Essay

52 Original photographs
by Max Waldman
are in the Library of Congress,
Washington, DC

Posthumous prints available
for exhibition and reproduction.

"Historically, the largest and most vibrant black community in Southern Florida, Colored Town was the cradle of business and culture for African-Americans from 1896 to the 1960's. It developed "over the tracks" from the white downtown business area when Miami was a wilderness. Limited by custom and law in every phase of life, black people developed a self contained community that provided goods, services and entertainment so that residents did not have to go out of the neighborhood.
For the most part black residents owned and operated their businesses. A substantial number of them were employers. They conducted business, shopped, dined and sought entertainment, and strolled up and down the community with pride. Despite the success of some residents, the masses lived in poverty and overcrowded conditions. It was on these aspects that Waldman apparently focussed his camera in this photo essay. Like many photojournalists of the Depression and post-Depression eras, Waldman captured the images that at one and the same time depict the social realities and affirm the humanity and dignity of his subjects. "

Quoted from the Exhibition brochure:
Colored Town/Overtown 1947: Max Waldman Images of a Southern Black Community
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library

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