The United States of America abolishes slavery after the Civil War when the Congress will vote the 13th amendment of the American constitution. But this ending will never at this time ameliorate the living of the African - American people who choose moving to the north of the United States for having a better life. They put themselves together inside cities quarters where they will build their own culture. Following this way James WanDerZee leave the city of Lenox (Massachusetts) for moving to New - York - City. There he discovers picture making but doesn't earn money first and must do several jobs before opening his studio on the 129th street. James VanDerZee will photograph the Harlem Renaissance movment with the purpose to underline his importance beyond the United States. His sentimental and romantic pictures show us the rising of the African - American upper class made by politics (Marcus Garvey, ...), artists (Jean - Michel Basquiat, ...) and musicians (Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, ...).