A Poster Child For Poverty In Harlem Speaks Back

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John Yant (on the far right) and his family posed for this photo in 1969.

Photo by: Marc Fader

John Yant (on the far right) and his family posed for this photo in 1969.

Lifelong Harlem resident John Yant’s driving school was displaced by rising rents. This is a common tale now, but Yant has a truly unique role in Harlem’s history as he and his family were featured in the 1969 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit “Harlem on My Mind.”

Yant tells what it’s like for a family photo to become a representation of urban poverty, how people assumed he wouldn’t make it, and how most of his peers didn’t.

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