Title: Outside Looking In
Creator: Gordon Parks
Date: September 1956
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Originally Published: LIFE Magazine September 24, 1956
Gordon Parks intended this image to pull strong emotions from the viewer, and he succeeded. When I see this image, I’m immediately empathetic for the children in this photo. They are just children, after all, who are hurt by the actions of others over whom they have no control. They did nothing to deserve the exclusion, the hate, or the sorrow; all they did was merely exist.
We should all look at this picture in order to see what these children went through as a result of segregation and racism. There is a barrier between the white children and the black, both physically in the fence and figuratively. Look at what the white children have, an extremely nice park, and even a Ferris wheel! Meanwhile, the black children look on wistfully behind a fence with overgrown weeds. What’s important to take away from this image nowadays is that although we may not have physical segregation, racism and hate are still around, not only towards the black population, but many others. We see the exclusion that society put the kids through, and hopefully through this we can recognize suffering in the world around us to try to prevent it.