Tuesday, August 23, 2016



Revisiting Photos That Find
Tenderness Amid Inequality


“Untitled, Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956.” Photograph by Gordon Parks
“Untitled, Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956.”
Photograph by Gordon Parks/Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.


Black Classroom, Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956.
“Black Classroom, Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956.”
Photograph by Gordon Parks/Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.


“Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956.”
“Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956.”
Photograph by Gordon Parks/Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.


“Untitled, Mobile, Alabama, 1956.”
“Untitled, Mobile, Alabama, 1956.”
Photograph by Gordon Parks/Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.

Gordon Parks’s “Segregation Story” images, first published in Life magazine in 1956, are as important today as they were 60 years ago.
Though the civil rights movement is most commonly associated with black-and-white photography, these images were shot on color film, and connect past and present in a more immediate way.
Parks brought an equally tender and frank eye to capture and honor the intimate, everyday moments of the Thornton family and their community in Shady Grove and Mobile, Ala., showing us how they managed to live “normal” lives in conditions that were anything but.
Moments of happiness, love and strength, like a church gathering or a family outing to the ice cream stand, take place under codified inequality. (The New York Times, Caroline Hirsch, March 24, 2016. Read more.)

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