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