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22 Fascinating Photos of Black Life and Style in 1970 Harlem

Avatar • Sep 21, 2015

In July 1970 Jack Garofalo photographed the neighborhood of Harlem, New York for Paris Match magazine. Once a borough with a thriving black population, Harlem was a black mecca up until World War II. As the 60s ended many black Harlem residents left the city in what many would consider an exodus, in search of better schools and crime-free communities. 

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; trois enfants lisent les affiches de propagande pentecÙtiste placardÈes sur un rez-de-chaussÈe d'immeuble et prÙnant l'arrÍt de la drogue. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: Youth read anti-drug posters plastered on a building. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; femmes traversant une rue. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: Women cross the street. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; 'Black is beautiful'; portrait de deux femmes. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: ‘Black is Beautiful’ portrait of two women (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; portrait d'une jeune femme, vÍtue d'un cirÈ rouge et souriant. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970 (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; portrait d'un afro-amÈricain coiffÈ d'un chapeau. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970 (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; contraste de couleur et de taille : une femme et sa fille dans la rue. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970. A woman and her daughter. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; un groupe de femme afro-amÈricaines piquent-niquent sur un banc ‡ l'extrÈmitÈ nord de Central Park. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: Women in Central Park. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; deux hommes sans activitÈ, assis sur des cageots, dans une rue. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; une librairie afro-amÈricaine exaltant le 'Black Spirit'. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: The ‘Black Spirit’ African American bookstore. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; un homme afro-amÈricain fume en marchant dans une rue, pointÈ du doigt en arriËre par un compatriote en costume bleu et chapeau. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; Big Joe, de sa fenÍtre ‡ guillotine, observe dans la rue ses amis. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: Big Joe (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Black Panther Party members stand in front of flyers of imprisoned party members

Black Panther Party members stand in front of flyers of imprisoned party members

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; un groupe de jeunes garÁons, coiffÈs de toques et vÍtus de tuniques multicolores, pose devant une boutique de musique. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: Youth wearing African style hats and tunics in front of a record store. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; de jeunes afro-amÈricains trËs ÈlÈgants, en costume et chemise, se tiennent dans une rue, un milk-shake ou un sandwich en main. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; un afro-amÈricain trËs ÈlÈgant, costume et noeud papillon, vend ou distribue des journaux sur l'Islam et les musulmans dans une rue. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: Man distributing a Muslim newspaper. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; portrait d'une Ètudiante en Ethnologie, fumant une cigarette et dont la coiffure et la parure puisent leurs racines aux sources africaines. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: An Ethnology college student with a traditional African threading style. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; 'Black is beautiful'; portrait d'une jeune femme souriant. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: ‘Black is Beautiful’ portrait. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; Chez le coiffeur, une jeune femme afro- amÈricaine sourit, le cr‚ne rasÈ. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: A young woman getting her head shaved. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; Billy privilÈgiÈ (boucher), sa femme et ses enfants dans leur deux piËces d'un immeuble dÈlabrÈ de la 8Ëme avenue. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: Billy the Butcher, his wife and children in their 8th Avenue apartment. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; cabines tÈlÈphoniques rÈservÈes aux afro-amÈricains. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: Telephone booths for African Americans. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; un couple de mariÈs afro-amÈricains sourit avant d'entrer dans une limousine noire. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: A just-married African American couple. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; un jeune enfant afro-amÈricain bat le rythme avec ses mains devant un tourne-disque et des vinyles sur une pelouse. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- July 1970: An African American child claps to the rhythm of a vinyl turntable. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

What do you think of the Harlem photo essay?

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About Rinny

Texan by birth, Los Angeleno by situation. Lover of Tame Impala and Shoegaze music. Comedian by trade. Macaroni and Cheese connoisseur by appetite.

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Claudette UK
Claudette UK
5 years ago

What wonderful photos. I wonder if the newlyweds are still married.

redpaperlantern
redpaperlantern
5 years ago

What a wonderful glimpse into the not so distant past. I am loving all of the naptural hairstyles and African garb. Beautiful!!!

Mali Lawrence
Mali Lawrence
5 years ago

beautiful photos

AKAdemicsFirst1908
AKAdemicsFirst1908
5 years ago

I loved every minute of this!

Elle P.
Elle P.
5 years ago

Beautiful photos! This is so inspiring!

DLB
DLB
5 years ago

I love this article! There is nothing new under the sun—-Everything is recycled. My mom was either 4 or 5 months pregnant with me when these pictures were taken.

Tonia682
Tonia682
5 years ago

Loved the photos! The pix of the mother and daughter, I was about the age of the toddler.

Doreen Lewis-Durham
Doreen Lewis-Durham
5 years ago

This is a beautiful glimpse of my beautiful people. From style, to politics, to social issues, we cover it all with heavy influence on the world. Being born and raised in Harlem
, I might be a bit biased though.

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[…] 22 Fascinating Photos of Black Life and Style in 1970 Harlem – BGLH, September 21, 2015 […]

BGLHRinny
BGLHRinny
5 years ago

The captions? That’s the title of the editorial in which the photos are published under.

?Lucinda
?Lucinda "The1&Only" Pruitt
4 years ago

Beautiful!

Victoria Owl
Victoria Owl
5 years ago

Wow…As far as fashion, it’s like what was once old is now new again. Like the biblical quote says, ” What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” My mom never forgets to jokingly remind me how much our generation has stolen from her’s haha.…I always tell her it’s a compliment.

Niesha
Niesha
5 years ago

OMG.. These photos are everything..

Penelope
Penelope
5 years ago

Calling it Harlem : The Ghetto, is an insult to all who lived there, just call it Harlem.

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