Joe’s black and white street photography depicts ordinary people, predominately children in interracial interactions, getting along. Joe’s mantra was, “We Can All Get Along,” thus the title of this exhibit.
One of the important aspects of his photography was that he focused on civil rights issues long before the active civil rights era. Joe had the compassion and concern, even as a young man, for the social issues of the time (1930s - 1940s in New York and 1950s - 1980s in California.) His camera lens was the means in which he expressed this concern for others and the injustices of society, as indicated by the title of his photo book for sale here, “Folk Photography, Poems I’ve Never Written.” His photographs were his poems to humanity.
He was a member of the legendary Photo League of New York where he was mentored by some of the great photographers of his time. He was also a Combat Photographer during WWII in Iwo Jima.
The newest Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall exhibits a selection of Joe’s works on their walls. His legacy will be shared with many.