Mobile Museum of Art exhibit revisits segregation in Mobile

Black History Month

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Photographs that were part of a photo essay in 1956 by renowned photographer Gordon Parks are on display in an exhibit at the Mobile Museum of Art.

The exhibit called ‘Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956’ revisits segregation in the port city through the lens of Parks. The images document the Thornton family during segregation.

Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kansas. While he became a photographer, he was also a writer and originator of so-called ‘Blaxploitation’ films directing 1971’s ‘Shaft.’

Many of the images have become recognizable after their display in ‘Life’ magazine in 1956. One, in particular, shows a Black woman with a child under a ‘colored entrance’ sign at the Saenger Theater in Mobile. That sign is also on display with the photographs.

The exhibit was scheduled to run through September but it has now been extended until the end of the year.

The photographs are on loan from the Gordon Parks Foundation. The exhibit was underwritten by Mobile County Commission Merceria Ludgood.

Gordon Parks died in 2006.

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