As art expresses an individual's skills, creativity and imagination, we fail to recognize that everything around us is art. The past, the present and all things to come is a form of art. The Gordon Parks Foundation preserves the work of Gordon Parks, an American photojournalist. During the 1940s, he would mainly document issues surrounding African Americans, civil rights and poverty. In September of 1958, a photo essay of Gordon Parks was published. It was titled “The Restraints: Open and Hidden”. According to the Gordon Parks Foundation, the photo-essay “documented the everyday activities and rituals of one extended African American family living in the rural South under Jim Crow segregation.” Parks had a collection of pictures in which he called the “Segregation Story”. Within that collection, there was a specific picture that stood out the most. Taken at the Airline Terminal in Atlanta, Georgia in 1956, Parks took a picture of an emotionless African American maid holding a white baby while sitting next to a very stylish white lady, who also seems to be stone-faced. But something I noticed was that the white lady was sitting one seat away from the African American maid. The relationship between the two ladies seemed to be nothing more than an employee and employer. As Parks was assigned to do an everyday life on one extended African American family, this was one of the pictures he captured. I was very intrigued and full of the question by this picture. Although segregation was very popular back then, it was intriguing how it was okay for the African Americans to raise and take of white people’s babies, but it wasn’t okay for them to use the same facilities or even water fountains as the whites.
I feel it in my heart when you’re getting near