American Lit D
September 8, 2014
Help Wanted In the world Gordon Parks was living in, the act of fairness was not widely accepted. Society obtaining eyes with only one perspective, thinking the ideal skin is only one color, and pumping hatred within their hearts, African Americans had to work twice as hard as anybody else to receive respect. Darkness draped the ghettos where the African Americans had to reside, poor conditions as a result. Capturing the moments of both joy and despair, Gordon Parks revealed the lives of the underclass Americans who reached for a helping hand.
Black and white not only the color of the photo but the struggle of segregation in America. Clothes of rags, clothes of dirt, and clothes of warmth to shield the black human from the cold winter nights. Both the man on the giving side of the desk and the woman and her children thrive for change in this society. The children so innocent to what is occurring around them, so blind to what the world has become. The normality had set in for these young fellows. Focussing on the mother in this photo utters that this isn’t the first time she has asked for help. She might be slightly ashamed and heartbroken that she has to do this all over again. The man to her right seems to be wanting to talk to her, perhaps saying, “Everything will be alright.” This family is worn down but they can’t help but ask for assistance, even though it might not ever come. At the time Gordon Parks captured this photo in 1967, the civil rights movement had been more powerful than ever. Harlem, New York, the center of poverty for African Americans living in New York City. Photographed in this picture is the Fontenelle family according to Daily News. Also in the article written about the Fontenelle family, it is explained that the father, Norman Sr. who is not pictured, had previously lost his job as a railroad worker. Mother of four, Bessie, had been visiting the poverty board in Harlem for obvious reasons; No money, no food, no place warm to stay, this was the last resort for them. Thousands of other families had seen the walls inside the poverty center. Looking at this photograph,