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Harlem--Gang Warfare

1948, printed 1950s Gordon Parks Born: Fort Scott, Kansas 1912 Died: New York, New York 2006 gelatin silver print sheet and image: 19 1/8 x 15 1/8 in. (48.5 x 38.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation © 1948, Gordon Parks Foundation 1998.121.3 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

In 1948, Parks approached Life magazine with a proposal to do a freelance story on Harlem’s gangs. Editors were fascinated and offered Parks two hundred dollars to do the piece. “Harlem Gang Leader Red Jackson’s Life is One of Fear, Frustration and Violence” was a dramatic and poignant story told through unforgettable images and extended captions. Light barely touches the shadowy figures in Harlem – Gang Warfare, one of the photographs included in the essay. Shot from below, the picture captures the aggression but also the vulnerability of the young gang members.


African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012

Keywords

Cityscape - New York - Harlem

Cityscape - New York New York

Ethnic - African-American

Figure group - male

State of being - evil - violence

photography - photoprint

paper

gelatin silver

About Gordon Parks

Born: Fort Scott, Kansas 1912 Died: New York, New York 2006

More works in the collection by
Gordon Parks