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Jules Allen

Untitled NYC (125th Street)
gelatin silver print
16 x 19 3/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase

Allenn maintains that African Americans “have to understand our right to self-actualization. No one ever chooses the wrong hat.” These black Muslims make an imposing ensemble in their suits, hats, and sunglasses. In turning his lens on the concept of strength in numbers, Allen confronts the stereotypical fear of black men in large groups and instead celebrates the power of shared beliefs.