photography exhibit documents 20 years of protests for social change in new york city

February 6, 2017

The Bronx Documentary Center is exhibiting a fantastic photography show called ‘Whose Streets? Our Streets!‘ that features more than thirty-eight independent photojournalists who over the years have documented “ordinary New Yorkers as they rallied, marched, and demonstrated.” Co-curated by Meg Handler (former photo editor of The Village Voice), historian Tamar Carroll (author of Mobilizing New York: AIDS, Antipoverty and Feminist Activism), and Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) founder Michael Kamber, ‘Whose Streets? Our Streets!‘ tells the story of the struggle for social change and racial justice as they unfolded. The exhibition is running now until March 14th at the BDC. More info here.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

Photo by BRIAN PALMER, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, August 1991
Police officer throttles a man NYPD accused of throwing bottles at them during three days of race riots following the death of Gyanese-American Gavin Cato, a seven-year-old boy killed after being hit by a vehicle driven by Yosef Lifsh in the motorcade of Lubavitcher Grand Rebbe Menachem Schneerson.

Photo by BILL BIGGART, Bronx, February 17, 1987
Protests outside the Bronx State Supreme Court where Officer Stephen Sullivan was being tried for the shooting death of 66-year-old Eleanor Bumpurs. The emotionally disturbed Ms. Bumpurs was being evicted from her apartment in the Sedgwick Houses in the Morris Heights Section of the Bronx on October 29,1984 for being four months behind in her monthly rent of $98.65.

Photo by ALON REININGER, Central Park, Manhattan, June 1983
Memorial to AIDS victims in Central Park.

Photo by NINA BERMAN, Manhattan, 1989
Pro-choice demonstrators in downtown Manhattan demonstrate against the July 3, 1989 Supreme Court Webster Decision which limited Roe v. Wade and was a turning point in the pro-choice movement. Twenty-four people were arrested in New York as they stormed the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Photo by MARK PETERSON, Brooklyn, 1991
A woman walks by a line of police during the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn. This was a three-day racial riot that occurred from August 19 to 21 and pitted African American and Caribbean Americans against Jewish residents.

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at