Sunday, February 9, 2014

Our History Month


Looking at these photographs, what strikes me the most is the beauty of the people, ordinary families and children; however, the context of the photos reveal the ugly truth of the time.  In the U.S. February has become recognized as Black History Month; however, as far as I'm concerned it should be "Our" History Month.  The segregation and discrimination that occurred was not the history of a single race of people, instead it's the history of our country as a whole.  The history of those most directly affected, those who participated, and those who stood passively aside.  While some may be unaware of its existence or simply deny it, the truth remains that in many ways invisible signs and separate entrances still remain.  So, in no way am I suggesting that we shouldn't take the time to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of African Americans; however, I think it's important to keep in mind that the past that prompted this need for celebration is the history of us all.  While the aftermath of this history may linger on, perpetuating the need for this distinction, it is important that our progress depends on our unity.

These amazing photographs were taken by the legendary photographer Gordon Parks.  I've know of his work for quite some time, but a few days ago when I saw someone post the second of these photos on Facebook I just had to delve into his work once again.  A Google search of the photo lead me to this great article about the woman in the picture and these additional Parks' photos here.  I definitely recommend learning more about Park; his work includes writing, directing, and composing as well as high fashion photography and work for Life magazine. 




Photo source: beautifuldecay.com
Photographer: Gordon Parks
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2 comments

  1. I love that you called it "Our History Month." That is so true. If we're going to look back on American History, we need to think of it as part of ALL of our stories.

    These pictures make me so sad, but hopeful for even better things in the future. And I know it's not the point, but how cute is that girl in the white dress at the theater?

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  2. Hi Ashley, I appreciate your words. It is definitely something that's a part of American history and not some isolated event in and of itself. It's easy for people to see that extremes like slavery were wrong and horrific, but to overlook how ordinary people, Americans that could have been anyone's family or children were treated as second-class citizens and in many ways continue to be, just much more discretely....

    and yes, I do love the style of this time Thanks for stopping by :-)

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