Revisiting the Story of ‘A Harlem Family’

In 1968, the Life magazine photographer Gordon Parks riveted the nation with a photo essay on the grinding daily struggles of the Fontenelles, a desperately poor family in Harlem.

Only one of the family’s eight children, Richard Fontenelle, lived past the age of 30. He evaded the grim fates of his siblings, who fell to drugs and crime and AIDS, in part through his continued connection to Parks, who died in 2006 at age 95.

For the 100th anniversary of Parks’s birth, the Studio Museum in Harlem is exhibiting the photos that made up “A Harlem Family.”

Three days after the show opened in November, Mr. Fontenelle — a married father of four who worked as a maintenance supervisor and ran a recording studio — died of a heart attack at age 48.

The show is up through June. Today, our colleagues on the Lens blog have a haunting and beautifully illustrated article about Parks, his work and the brief, full and quietly triumphant life of Richard Fontenelle.

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed | Amazon Plugin WordPress | Android Forums | WordPress Tutorials
Go to Source