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The story of a groundbreaking artist who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people. James Van Der Zee was just a young boy when he saved enough money to buy his first camera. He took photos of his family, classmates, and anyone who would sit still for a portrait. Eventually James opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissan — politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith — and ordinary folks in the neighborhood, too.