In 1959 there were about 1000 gang members in and around the streets of New York City, primarily troubled teenage males from the outer boroughs. That spring, up-and-coming photographer Bruce Davidson read an article about the street violence in Prospect Park and decided to document this rebellious youth lifestyle, just a bridge away.
Connecting with a social worker for initial contact, Davidson embedded himself in the Jokers quickly becoming a daily observer with the ability to chronicle their dark and secretive culture. For several months he followed the Jokers around their turf throughout Prospect Park , Helen's Diner and Coney Island hangouts.
As he would later pen for his Magnum Photos book " I met a small group of teenagers called the Jokers, I was 25 and they were 16. I could have easily been taken for one of them."
Images Bruce Davidson