Five women on the boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ

Date
c.1960s
Medium
Photography
Credit Line
John W. Mosley Photograph Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA

Betty Lawrence, Jean Woodley, Bertha Jones, Veranda Vance, and Woodmere Director William Valerio discuss this photograph and Mosley’s method of carefully posing his figures in the forthcoming exhibition catalogue:

VALERIO: This image is completely posed. You can tell because if the cart was moving they’d all fall out. [laughter]

LAWRENCE: And he would drop his camera…

WOODLEY: It’s clear to me that most of his images were posed. In this era, photographers always did that.

VANCE: Yes, I think it was the time period. At this time you didn’t just walk up and take a picture. You wanted it a certain way, and Mosley is a perfectionist. It was his way. In this photograph no one’s moving, no one’s hair is out of place. They all look nice and neat. That’s just what he wants the world to see.

VALERIO: Do you think he was consciously making a statement about black life at the time?

JONES: Yes, he’s saying look at the fullness of our life.

VANCE: We’ve arrived.

JONES: Life is rich, life is good.

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