BLACK MEN OF LABOR Group Portrait Banner by L.J. Goldstein UNSIGNED OR SIGNED POSTER
Regular price $20.00
This poster is a reproduction of the original photograph by L. J. Goldstein.
Posters are available both unsigned and signed by the three founders of The Black Men of Labor and the artist.
This image is part of the HNOC exhibit "Dancing in the Streets" (2021).
POSTER MEASURES: 19" x 25"
L.J. Goldstein has been making photographs of New Orleans street celebrations for almost thirty years. In an effort to support the musical community of New Orleans, 33% of all artist proceeds from sales of this poster are donated to the Black Men of Labor’s Young Traditional Brass Band Program.
About The Black Men of Labor:
The Black Men of Labor formed following the funeral of jazz great Danny Barker in 1994. When Barker passed away his wife, the singer Blue Lu Barker, worked with trumpeter Gregg Stafford, drummer Benny Jones Sr., and community activist Fred Johnson to organize a traditional jazz funeral. Inspired by the event to preserve traditional parade practice, the three founded the Black Men of Labor. The group portrait printed on this banner shows the men outside of Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club prior to their 1999 parade. After Hurricane Katrina, they started the tradition of taking the portrait in front of a life-size enlargement of the previous year’s picture—beginning in 2006 with this image from 1999—to include all of those members no longer with the club. The tradition, begun a decade and a half ago, continues to produce club portraits unlike any other.
The Story Behind the Print
In 2005, The Black Men of Labor requested that I enlarge this photograph as a display print to adorn their clubhouse for their annual second-line parade. You can see where it was hung (between the two sets of balloons) in the photograph itself. It was the first time a photograph had been used in this manner by a parading benevolent society in New Orleans.
Measuring eight feet by twelve feet, it was made outside New Orleans with a company capable of printing on vinyl using special archival pigments to protect it from ultra-violet light. My plan was to fly back to New Orleans at the end of August to install it before their parade in September, but Katrina stopped that plan, and I was trapped outside New Orleans with the print unable to return
The parade was obviously cancelled, but ultimately it was used for its intended purpose in The Black Men of Labor’s 2006 parade, where it also served as a backdrop for group portraits. In 2007, one of those group portraits was then similarly hung, and since that time, The Black Men of Labor have made a group portrait within a group portrait every year such that the original photograph has disappeared from its visual presence.
This is the original banner print signed on the back by the three Founders of the club and the Artist. Enjoy!