Thursday, January 23, 2014

Color Photographs of Segregation in the 1950's by Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was one of the seminal figures of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, he left behind a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, Civil Rights, and urban life. In addition, Parks was also a celebrated composer, author, and filmmaker who interacted with many of the most prominent people of his era—from politicians and artists to celebrities and athletes. He is best remembered for his photographic essays for LIFE magazine and as the director of the 1971 film, Shaft.

According to the New York Times, in the spring of 2012 the Gordon Parks Foundation discovered more than 70 color transparencies at the bottom of an old storage box, wrapped in paper and masking tape and marked, "Segregation Series." These never before series of images not only give us a glimpse into the everyday life of African Americans during the 50′s but are also in full color, something that is uncommon for photographs from that era. Here are just a few of the pics...

(Photographs courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation, via the NYTimes and Beautiful/Decay)

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