Words by Lucy Mckeon | Images by Ruddy Roye
“You remember American cheese?” Radcliffe “Ruddy” Roye asks the elderly man who stands, bespectacled and cane in hand, next to the supermarket advertisement on 132nd and Lenox. Roye recalls it as a budget staple and they joke about government cheese. The simple signage, “American Cheese,” offers a caption to Mr. Skerritt’s almost-smile, just the kind of found title Roye loves - provocative, with many layers of interpretation.
Written on a card around Skerritt’s neck is information about the book “The Transatlantic Slave Trade” by James A. Rawley, which Roye copies down at Skerritt’s recommendation. Skerritt is a photographer himself, it turns out, and he says his images of Harlem, where he’s lived all eighty years of his life, reside in the Library of Congress. He and Roye photograph each other – it’s the first digital Skerritt’s ever taken – and after thanking him, Roye continues down Malcolm X Boulevard toward 125th Street. Read More