Black History

In the New York City Democratic mayoral primary race against Ed Koch, David Dinkins was always the underdog. Without the support of the city’s powerful political establishment, Borough President Dinkins of Manhattan ran a steady and flawless campaign by strengthening his weaknesses, reaching out to all constituents and exploiting the missteps of the Koch administration.

Starting from the beginning of the campaign, I put much effort into gaining the trust of the candidate and his staff so as to obtain access to private moments. As a result, I was the only media photographer allowed to witness Mr. Dinkins at the crucial moment when the final primary results were tallied and Mayor Koch conceded.

Having observed that his personal style was more cerebral than emotional, I wasn’t at all surprised to watch his family resonate with the emotion of victory, even as Mr. Dinkins sat calmly in his campaign hotel room on a sofa amid his excited wife, daughter and son and their families.

Seemingly underwhelmed by his victory, Mr. Dinkins showed his characteristic calm, much like deep water.