I re-posted this to my facebook with the caption: When I see this picture I see the depth of the color in the neon sign. This to me is significant. It shows the attention to detail and depth of discrimination Americans went through less than a lifetime ago.
This photo was taken in 1956 and posted to facebook by Blackpast.org. It's original caption said:
This photo of a finely dressed black mother and daughter -- standing below a “Colored Entrance” sign at a bus station in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1956 -- was taken by Gordon Parks, one of the seminal figures of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, Parks left behind a body of work that documents race relations, poverty, civil rights and urban life.
I find myself torn by this picture, mostly because I think it's beautiful. The contrast of colors, the old vehicle in the modest class and beauty of the mother and daughter. It's a beautiful picture. I guess the picture is a true representation of the photographers eye. The photo is the best representation of American irony, because as ornate as the colors are and as timely as the photo is, the two ladies in the photo will always know what it's like to have being colored hanging over their heads.
America, the beautiful, has low self esteem. This picture captures this perfectly. While Americans of color have long been contributors to society. We have been continually branded and segregated by no fault of our own. I have to wonder the social conditioning of these two. What were they taught/told about themselves?
This train of thought brings me to think about my grandparents and Trayvon Martin.