Item #19864 Southern California Prison Gang Polaroid Photo Archive, 1980s-90s. Prison Gang Members.

Southern California Prison Gang Polaroid Photo Archive, 1980s-90s

Photo Archive

[Mexican-American] [Prison] California Prison Gang Archive of 20 Polaroid Photographs. 1980's-1990s. This archive in includes 20 color Polaroids that each measure 4.5" x 3.5" . Each Polaroid highlights gang and prison cultures within California, capturing many Black gang-affiliated inmates within different prisons. The Polaroid photographs have been tagged (some in ink and pencil, others with the tag etched directly into the emulsion) by a wide array of mostly Los Angeles gang members. Most of the photos are of prisoners, with the majority of subjects flashing gang signs and posing stoically alone or with other members. Gang members are affiliated to the 92 Bloods and Hoover Crips from Los Angeles, the 190th Street East Coast Bloc Crips from Carson, and the West Coast Crips and the Insane Crips from Long Beach. In one Polaroid, five men named "Eugene", "Dennis", "Goree", "T. Money", and "Buzz" pose together -- two of the men spotted wearing Walkmans. Three photos from the mid 1980s show the same musclebound prisoner who had an affinity for tank tops and wearing his hair in a perm. Several Polaroids are captioned by the inmate in pencil or pen, often written to a lover or family members. Another portrait of an African American man is captioned "To Kisha and my daughter. Brina. Kisha. Standing Tall Threw It All.. 9-20-88". We see a few photos of "Insane Crips" out on the street, flashing their gang signs. A photo of Hoovers shows 5 men dressed in all black and navy with sunglasses and braids, with one man doing the iconic "prison squat" while others ball their fists or clasp their hands. On the right margin, they have scrawled "Crip for Life". These original Polaroid images recall the gangster films of the 1990s like Boyz in the Hood and Menace to Society. A remarkable archive that captures the people who found themselves at the center of the crack, gang violence, and mass incarceration era that dominated street life in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the 1980s-90s. This archive is in very good condition.

Item #19864

Price: $880.00

Status: On Hold