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Gordon Parks Photo Essay

Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver, 1970

Katherine and Elridge Cleaver (Algiers, 1970)




Ethel Sharriff 1963


Ethel Sharriff (Chicago, 1963)

Leader of the women’s corps of the Black Muslims/ Wife of the chief of the elite guard/ daughter of the Elijah Mohammed

Duke Ellington



Mrs Jefferson 1949

Mrs. Jefferson (Fort Scott 1949)

— All images by Gordon Parks AKA Shaft

monk resized


This photo essay was initially published in Chimurenga 11: Poets Who Refuse to Speak (July 2007). This issue features a heady mix of words and images that give voice to silence.  This issue is about silence, disappearing oneself as act. Though it’s often one of abdication, could it be defiance, resistance even? – a challenging idea, in a culture where struggle about seeking exposure, giving voice, making visible and all that stuff…

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