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Pieces from Larry T. Clemons Private Collection
In the late 1960′s. Interstate 95 was built though, ore more precisely, over, Purvis Young’s Miami neighborhood. The heavy traffic, which had brought crowds of people into an already crowded community, disappeared. The large population of Overtown (ironically, now under a highway) dispersed and diminished. Purvis Young stayed. A vacant alley in the neighborhood attracted him. Jamaican immigrants had once operated bakeries there, but now were gone. They, and the other who chose to go, left behind a row of abandoned buildings. They also left a passageway with a colorful nickname, Goodbread Alley.
Young was drawn to Goodbread Alley. for several reasons. Its desolation was suitable for a man who preferred privacy, even isolation, to the company of others. His mentor, protector, and only close friend, Silo Crespo, an Afro-Cuban Santeria priest, lived nearby. Perhaps the Alley’s Caribbean connection was meaningful-Young views boat people as a particularly graphic symbol of disenfranchisement In addition, Young’s own heritage was Caribbean. And Goodbread Alley had a pragmatic allure for an aspiring artist with a social conscience.
19 East 4th St, Panama City, FL 32401