Mobile Theater | by Gordon Parks
April 18, 2016 Comments Off on Mobile Theater | by Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks was an outstanding, black, photographer who captured the dark side of American society in technically brilliant photos in an essay for Life Magazine. This is a great photo for various reasons. Taken 2 years after the historic Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that segregation is unconstitutional. It is beautiful, charming, and hateful. It captures the era of ugliness, clearly marked, through which many like these two innocents navigated daily. Technically incredible. What should be a nice outing is marred by hate, spelled out in cheerful neon light.
Mobile teacher Joanne Thornton Wilson and her niece, Shirley Kirksey, were photographed by Gordon Parks outside the Mobile Saenger Theatre in 1956. Parks was on assignment for Life magazine, which did not publish the photo at the time. (Courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation)
Personal note: I will share this image, and others, with my ESL class. They, as foreigners to the US and our history, are shocked and bewildered.