Help Unravel a Gordon Parks Southern Mystery • ©[NYTimes.com]
The image is striking: A stone-faced African-American woman in a spotless maid’s uniform cradles a white toddler while a stylishly dressed white woman sits nearby. Gordon Parks took the picture at the Atlanta airport in the spring of 1956.
Those few tidbits are the only things certain about this photo. Anything else is conjecture.
We don’t know the women’s names, where they’re from, their individual stories or the nature of their relationship beyond employer and employee. We don’t even know if they are still alive. Mr. Parks’s notes were minimal: He didn’t give an exact date.