The Ulrich Museum of Art has exceptionally strong holdings of photographs by Gordon Parks. The Kansas native is a 20th century icon whose images became a potent tool in supporting the post-war struggle for Civil Rights for African Americans. Many of the photographs found in the Ulrich collection focus on children. This exhibition will highlight Parks’ empathetic and prescient photographs of young people rooted in his own experiences. “I suffered first as a child from discrimination, poverty,” he said. “So I think it was a natural follow from that that I should use my camera to speak for people who are unable to speak for themselves.” The title of the exhibition comes from a 1926 Langston Hughes poem, I, Too, which captures the mixed emotions of self-assured pride and justified hurt felt by a Black child in America.
Banner: Gordon Parks, Ondria Tanner and her Grandmother Window-shopping, Mobile, Alabama, 1956. Photograph. Museum Purchase © and courtesy of The Gordon Parks Foundation, Collection of the Ulrich Museum of Art.