Friday, June 10, 2011

Liberia '77 Photos of Monrovia

A handful of semi-unbelievable vintage photographs of Monrovia from the growing collection of the Topham brothers, viewable on the website of their awesome documentary, Liberia '77.

I've mentioned Liberia '77 back in December, but wanted to remind everyone about it, and also spread the word about the Topham brothers' project, blessed by President Sirleaf, to encourage the contribution of vintage and historic photography of Liberia to reinvigorate the Liberian National Archives.

Jeff & Andrew Topham have been successful these last few months of starting a wonderful collaborative archive of photographs from his own family as well as other contributors, including, it seems, Helene Cooper.

Here are a few of many gems from what is already there. The captions are as good as the images. A couple of more posts follow with some other highlights of the Liberia '77 collection.

Sheila on Broad Street: My beautiful mother on Broad Street in Monrovia. We lived there 1967-72 and she came to visit me and her friends when I returned as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She loved Liberia and my family considers those years the best of our lives.

Gurley Street, 1974. Anyone who lived in or near Monrovia knows about Gurley Street. I remember it as a 15 year old where I would go to the “juke joints” and learned how to dance to James Brown and Sam and Dave. Around midnight would step outside and buy some pepper chicken and round bread from the lady cooking on the street. Also, a small bottle of Stockton Gin. My mother thought I was staying with my friend in town and her mother thought she was staying with me out in Caldwell. She nearly fainted when I told her all about it years later! Took this picture when I returned as a Peace Corps Volunteer

Fruit Sellers on the Street, possibly outside Abi Jaoudi supermarket, 1977

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