Jonestown Community Photo Documentation Project
In celebration of ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary “Baltimore Boys” which examines the Dunbar Poets basketball teams of 1981–1983, we present one of our favorite photographs from one of our favorite collections, the Jonestown Community Photo Documentation Project. Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, probably the most famous player from the team, grew up in the Lafayette Courts featured in the collection. Read more about the project below and be sure to catch “Baltimore Boys” when it re-airs on ABC this Sunday.
Jones-060-35 Chester James (right) and friend (left)
Photograph by Jerome Jessup, July 27, 1994.
Jonestown Community Photo Documentation Project, Series III Jerome Jessup Prints.
Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, MdHS.
Note: From 1994 to 1996, the Baltimore City Life Museum (BCLM) sponsored a program for nineteen children, ages 10 through 15, who lived in Flag House Court, Lafayette Courts, and Perkins Homes, public housing projects in the Jonestown neighborhood surrounding the museum. Roland Freeman, a professional photographer, taught nine of the children to shoot photographs and develop film. Given 35mm cameras of their own, the young photographers shot their families, neighborhood, and homes beginning in the summer of 1994. The other 10 children collaborated on three murals at the housing projects. An exhibit was later created at BCLM, showing their work. In August of 1995, Lafayette Courts were demolished; Flag House closed in 1998 and was imploded in 2001. Perkins Homes, Baltimore’s oldest housing project, is still standing as of this posting despite various plans for redevelopment.
Sidenote: This was Paul Laurence Dunbar High School after completion in 1934. (Currently the home of National Academy Foundation School of Baltimore, 500 N Caroline Street.) This building served as the home of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School from 1935 to 1965.
MC6365 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School #133
Photograph by the Hughes Company, August 1934.
Baltimore City Life Museum Photograph Collection, MdHS.