TGIF Throwback, “A Time Before Crack”

Now that Vagina (Valentine’s) day is officially over and all of my self-bought flowers are beginning to wilt; I thought it was safe to jump back into Black History Month. Before it’s all said and done.

I heard of Jamel Shabazz and his book,  A Time Before Crack, several years ago.  It was at the start of the 80’s hip-hop revival scene where I saw photos and it referenced.  I finally purchased it about a week ago and wanted to share it with you.  It is, in my words, a photojournalistic celebration of the urban community (before the government introduced crack to the ghetto) circa 1975-1985.  I am aware that prior to the crack epidemic there was heroin, cocaine, and etc already on the streets.  Nevertheless, if you’re anywhere near my generation, you’ll agree and take note that the American time of innocence, and quality of clothes, music, television, food, and education fell by the waste side parallel to the time when crack-cocaine hit the streets.  I won’t overwhelm you with my half-ass, word of mouth conspiracy theories.  I will however share these photos in hopes that you too can remember and enjoy this time with me.

7 thoughts on “TGIF Throwback, “A Time Before Crack”

  1. I love your word of mouth conspiracies. These are lovely images. How the heck to do you resize your images. WordPress is new to me and I’m kinda stuck. How do you avoid the small, medium large option…thanks lady. Happy Black History Month, Happy Friday and cheers to buying yourself flowers…Enjoy your weekend!

    • Ah, you did? Great! I like wordpress, and the new look of your blog! I think mine needs a makeover….oh well. Happy Tuesday (that feels like a Monday).


  2. Great post! I flipped through this book a while back and was blown away.

    Have you heard of Iboga, a plant teacher medicine used by the Bwiti and others in Gabon and parts of the Congo? Under the right conditions, it appears to be an extremely effective treatment for crack, heroin, cocaine, and even alcohol addiction. A lot of things need to happen to even BEGIN addressing the damage done to our communities by systemic racism, failed drug policy, and rampant psychopaths in government. But I am extremely excited by the possibilities of iboga as a force for healing in our ghettos, and am holding a vision of drug reform and community outreach. Join me?

    Check out
    Here’s a quote from

    “On one level, Dr. Mash understands some of what happens. Ibogaine in the body is metabolized into another compound called ‘noribogaine.’ Noribogaine appears to reset chemical switches in the brain of an addict.

    “The noribogaine resets that, so it resets the opiates, blocks the opiate withdrawal, diminishes craving and the desire to use, and it elevates mood,” say Dr. Mash.

    “But of the “visions” that people see, Dr. Mash understands very little — only that they are somehow significant to the outcome. “It’s as if the plant is teaching you something fundamental about who you are as a person and why you’ve got yourself locked into this intractible pattern of behavior,” she says.”

  3. My god, I remember high school, 1983, when you started seeing All-Stars and Pumas with fat laces. (This was the midwest so we were probably a little behind…) It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.

    • Too bad 1983 was the year I was born — it probably seemed like the golden years compared to now…I still wear All-Stars and think they are they coolest thing, btw.

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