Book Review: Humanity in the Streets
Humanity in the Streets, a collection presented by Builder Levy, based in New York City and containing an array of black and white shots within the city and the social happenings between the 1960s and 1980s. In these decades, people around the world were struggling for freedom and independence. They marched in the streets to seek a better life, one offering justice and peace.
Included, are civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protests, the peace march held in 1962 in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and images of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. after his speech at Carnegie Hall. In support of quality, integrated education for all NYC children, and ending police brutality, students and their communities were also included.
Levy started as an art major at Brooklyn College, where he considered himself an abstract expressionist. Shortly after his work in painting and sculpting, he soon realized his need for a stronger social connection. His interest for the social realities of life and society is what led him to the camera.
The reasoning behind Humanity in the Streets was to question and affirm the notion of humanity. Pictures of various races and genders are shown unified, as he photographs the racial and economic diversity within a neighborhood.
Levy wants to be immersed in the lives and struggles of humanity. While out on the streets, alongside his subjects, he identifies with the causes he captures. His photography brings him directly to the streets, where he attends rallies and marches for civil rights, peace and justice.
This collection depicts a world that Levy knew well; a documentation of the world going on around him. He displays a visual story of a chapter in a city and a nation's history in hopes to bring some structure out of the mayhem. All his photographs are soaring with human spirit, the children, protesters, and passersby. Their passion is what drives them to stand up for their own rights within humanity.
Humanity in the Streets was published by Damiani in 2018.