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August 18, 2017

27 Vintage Polaroids of L.A. Street Gangs From the 1970s and 1980s

Growing up in L.A., it’s hard to escape gang culture because it’s all around you, from the city walls to the school halls. These pictures have so many different meanings and messages in them, and if you are not a part of the culture you might not see them. Many of the images bear inscriptions or captions, some with etched or ink tags.

While adolescent gang members are often responsible for the creation of cultural rites and mores, they are, for understandable reasons, not well known for the preservation of that culture. Given the importance of Rap music and culture in American society, these photographs provide an unparalleled cache of primary vernacular source material in support of that tradition.

(Images: Vintage Polaroids of Street Gangs, via CVLT Nation)


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