From 1988 to 1991 Dawoud Bey made a series of portraits of African Americans on the streets of various American cities. Using a large-format tripod-mounted camera and a unique positive/negative Polaroid film that created both an instant print and a reusable negative, he asked a cross-section of the populations of these communities to pose for him, creating a space for self-presentation. and acting. in the streets of the urban environment. As part of each encounter, Bey gave each person a small black-and-white Polaroid photograph of themselves as a way of reciprocating and giving something back to the people who had allowed him to take their portrait. Defying racial stereotypes, the resulting portraits reveal black subjects in all their rich psychological complexity, presenting themselves openly and intimately to the camera, the viewer, and the world.
The signed edition includes a sheet signed by the artist and bound inside the back cover.