Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was a prolific African-American photographer best known for his photographic essays published in Life Magazine and as the director of the 1971 blaxploitation film Shaft. Parks was also the co-founder of Essence Magazine.
Parks’ unique body of work documented an often unseen aspect of African-American life during segregation and The Civil Rights Movement. He is considered one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century. A collection of his images are currently on view at Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, Lousiana , in an exhibition titled “Segregation Story”. The exhibition runs from now until September 20th, 2014.
Segregation Story is an exhibition of fifteen medium-scale photographs including never-before-published images originally part of a series photographed for a 1956 Life magazine photo-essay assignment, “The Restraints: Open and Hidden.” In it, Gordon Parks documented the everyday lives of an extended black family living in rural Alabama under Jim Crow segregation. This compelling series demonstrated that the ambitions, responsibilities and routines of this family were no different than those of white Americans, thus challenging the myth of racism.