A Search For The Story In A Long-Buried, Jim Crow-Era Photo

January 16, 2015 - photo frame

Originally published on Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:52 pm

James Estrin of The New York Times’ Lens blog and his colleagues have spin fixated on a old, recently rediscovered aged print taken by Gordon Parks, a mythological Life repository photographer. So they’ve put out a call to their readers for any useful info about it.

Here’s what they do know. The picture was taken during a Atlanta airfield in 1956. It captures a black lady in a maid’s uniform cradling a white baby in her arms. She is sitting subsequent to a white lady dressed in black and wearing a bluish necklace.

According to Parks’ notes, it captures a difficult brew of personal cognisance and amicable stretch between black domestics and a white women they worked for in a Jim Crow South.

“These shots were all taken frankly in a Airlines Terminal in Atlanta,” Parks wrote to a print lab during Life. “[It] shows a continual matter of slavery that extends into a depot around 2 a.m. Here, a white baby is hold by a Negro lassie while a baby’s mom checks on reservations, etc. Although a Negro lady serves as nurse-maid for a white woman’s baby, a dual would not be authorised to lay and eat a dish together in any Atlanta restaurant.”

The Times has no suspicion who those women are or what their attribute to any other competence be. It was expected in a spring, though Parks fudged a accurate date. The print was found in an unopened box in 2012.

The print is partial of an vaunt on arrangement during Atlanta’s Jackson Fine Art gallery. Its owner, Anna Skillman, has been poring over a print for clues.

“Ms. Skillman also complicated a wardrobe and valuables of a women in a print and remarkable that a all-black dress competence meant that she was drifting to or returning from a funeral. Ms. Skillman also pronounced she suspicion that a bluish necklace competence have been an odd choice — as against to pearls — and wondered either a lady was an artist or meddlesome in a arts.

“Besides a clothing, we can see a blue and white teddy bear on a seat. When a box of transparencies was found, there was one swap support that showed a mom smoking a cigarette. If a tot is alive he would be about 60; a women in their 80s or 90s.”

So we spin to a readers: Do any of a folks in this print demeanour informed to you? If so, email James Estrin during a NYT’s Lens blog.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, revisit http://www.npr.org/.

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