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October 23: Leonard Freed, in Black and White

October 22, 2015

B018729Magnum photographer Leonard Freed, who documented the realities of racial segregation and ghettoization — and the struggle against them — was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1929. Freed moved to Amsterdam in 1958 and began to document the life of the city’s Jewish community. In the 1960s he captured the energies of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s constant activity. In the 1970s, Freed captured the realities of Israel’s Yom Kippur War, and the lives of New York cops. His books included Black in White America (1968) and Police Work (1980). Freed worked mostly in black and white, using available light. He was a frequent contributor to Life, Look, Fortune, Libération, L’Express, GEO, Paris-Match, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel and the Sunday Times magazine. He also shot four films for Dutch, Belgium, and Japanese television, including The Negro in America (1968) and Joey Goes to Wigstock (1992).

“Ultimately photography is about who you are. It’s the seeking of truth in relation to yourself. And seeking truth becomes a habit.” —Leonard Freed