Born in Arkansas in 1918, Adams became interested in photography when he was 12 years old. His photographic career began after he completed a tour of duty in World War II and graduated from the California School of Photography and Graphic Design (operated by Los Angeles photographer, Charles Williams).
The collection of 150,000 images for the period 1950–1985 is rich in its depiction of the unique lives of African Americans in and around the Los Angeles area. There are many images of important black political leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Malcolm X, and many others. Also included are images of Coretta Scott King, Rev. Maurice Dawkins; Mayor Tom Bradley; Jackie Robinson; Rev. H. H Brookins, Congresswoman and County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke (the first African American woman to represent the West Coast in Congress); Leon and Ruth Washington (founders of the Los Angeles Sentinel); Jessie Jackson; Julian Bond; Cassius Clay; Dr. H. Claude Hudson (an important African American leader in Los Angeles and a founder of the NAACP); civil rights attorney and California Superior Court Justice Loren Miller; and many musicians and entertainers.
• Abernathy, Ralph
• Ali, Muhammad
• Armstrong, Louis
• Baldwin, James
• Belafonte, Harry – Actor
• Bergen, Polly – Actor
• Bond, Julian
• Bradley, Mayor Tom
• Brando, Marlon – Actor
• Brown, Governor Edmund
• Brown, Jim
• Carter, President Jimmy
• Church images – Buildings, Choirs,
Congregations, Political and Religious Leaders
• Cole, Nat “King”
• Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E)
• Davis Jr., Sammy
• Doggett, John Nelson
• Domino Jr., Antoine Dominique (Fats)
• Ellington, Edward Kennedy (Duke)
• Fitzgerald, Ella
• Franciosa, Tony – Actor
• Freedom Riders, Los Angeles
• Grace, Bishop Daddy
• Gregory, Dick
• Hawkins, Augustus – Congressman
• Hope, Bob
• Hudson, H. Claude – Founder Broadway Federal Savings and Loan
• Johnson, Rafer Lewis
• Jones, Opal C. – Social Worker and Activist
• Karenga, Maulana
• King Jr., Dr. Martin Luther
• King, Coretta Scott
• Lindsay, Gilbert –L.A. City Councilman
• Louis, Joe
• Malcolm X
• Marshall, Thurgood
• Marx, Groucho
• Meredith, James
• Miller, Loren - Judge
• Moore, Archie
• Mosk, Judge Stanley – State Supreme Court
• Paige, Satchel
• Poitier, Sidney
• Pye Jr., Brad
• Robinson, Jackie
• Robinson, Sugar Ray
• Roosevelt, Eleanor
• Roybal, Ed – Activist and Congressman
• Salinger, Piere Emil George
• Shaw, Leslie N. – First Black L.A. Postmaster
• Sinatra, Frank
• Sir Lady Java – Entertainer/Civil Rights Activist
• Stevenson, Adlai – Illinois Governor, Ambassador to the U.N.
• Thomas, Danny – Comedian and Actor
• Tinglof, Mary – L.A. Board of Education
• Walcott, Jersey Joe
• Walker, T-bone – Entertainer
• Walker, Wyatt Tee – Reverend
• Washington, Dinah
• Washington, Leon – Founder, L.A. Sentinel
• Wilkins, Roy – President of the NAACP
• Williams, Walter (Dootsie)
• Wrigley Field (Los Angeles, Calif.)
• Yorty, Sam – Mayor• Kennedy, Robert (Bobby) Francis
Born in 1960 in Zacatecas, Mexico, Julián Cardona migrated to the border city, Ciudad Juárez, with his family as a small child. He attended school in Juárez, received vocational training, and worked as a technician in the maquiladora industry. In 1991, Cardona returned to Zacatecas to teach basic photography at the Centro Cultural de Zacatecas. Two years later, he began his photojournalism career at El Fronterizo and El Diario de Juárez. In 1995, Cardona organized the group exhibition, “Nada que ver/ Nothing to See,” in Juárez (Charles Bowden, “While You Were Sleeping: in Juárez, Mexico, photographers expose the violent realities of free trade,” Harper’s Magazine (December 1996)). Photographs from this exhibition inspired the award-winning book, Juárez: The Laboratory of Our Future (Aperture, 1998). Cardona’s photographs taken inside maquiladoras (foreign-owned factories) in Juárez were also featured in Aperture (Charles Bowden, “Camera of Dirt: Juárez Photographer Takes Forbidden Images in Foreign-Owned Factories, ” Aperture 159 (Spring 2000)).
Recently published titles include No One is Illegal, with texts by Justin Akers Chacón and Mike Davis (Chicago: Haymarket, 2006); Exodus/ Éxodo (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2008), documenting the historic migration of Mexicans to the United States and Murder City (New York: Nation Books, 2010) a photographic essay on Ciudad Juárez, the world’s most violent city, both in collaboration with Charles Bowden. Images of Exodus are included in the touring exhibition The History of the Future/ La historia del futuro (Michael Berman, Julián Cardona, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, 2008) and Exodus was featured in the 2011 edition of Promenades Photographiques, a photo festival held annually at Vendôme, France. Since 2009, Julián Cardona has been a correspondent in Ciudad Juárez for Reuters.
Julián Cardona’s collection documents the effects of globalization on the U.S.-Mexico border. Represented in this collection is a concentration on Ciudad Juárez in the state of Chihuahua. The images capture life in the city; the social effects caused by the maquiladoras; the violence of living in the city form executions to the destruction of entire neighborhood blocks; the exodus of residents fleeing the violence and the collapsing economy.
“A quarter million people have been displaced. 117,000 houses have been abandoned in the city and 32,000 are vandalized or burned if you don’t pay the extortion fees.” -Julián Cardona, 2012
Cardona documents the changing landscape of Calle Mariscal and the abandoned neighborhoods in Ciudad Juárez. Calle Mariscal was the center of nightlife in the city with bars, dance halls and brothels. Beginning in 2007, in an effort to gain control over the growing violence, the Mexican government razed businesses and buildings in the Mariscal district. Cardona captures the destruction of active businesses and historic buildings in the district.
Visión en Acción
José Antonio “El Pastor” Galván runs Visión en Acción (Vision in Action), an asylum 20 miles southwest of Ciudad Juárez, providing shelter for mentally ill people. He offers shelter to people rescued from the dangerous streets of the city where 8-10 people may be murdered daily and people face various abuses.
The realities of illegal immigration constitute the images in Exodus/ Éxodo (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2008), a collaborative work by writer Charles Bowden and Julián Cardona. Cardona captures immigrants in border towns waiting to cross the border; women maquiladora workers who have been murdered; Minutemen camps and the places where immigrants struggle to survive; New Orleans, North Carolina and California; construction, agriculture and other industries; protest marches to assert immigrants' rights to stay in the U.S; villages in Mexico where families send remitted dollars to build grand homes that remain unoccupied.
Maquiladoras (foreign owned industies in Mexico) have nearly doubled since the North American Free Trade Agreement was implement in 1994, increasing job opportunities and immigration to the border cities. Yet, low wages, long work hours, and substandard working conditions have created harsh conditions and shantytowns that lack electricity and running water. As the population swelled in cities near maquiladoras, the domestic drug markets and violence grew. The images captured here depict the lives of daily citizens struggling to survive in this environment. In recent years, thousands of Juárez residents have abandoned their businesses and homes due to the growing violence.