Woman in Iconic Gordon Parks Civil Rights Photo Honored
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

joanne wilson gordon parksAre you familiar with photographer Gordon Parks? If so, you must have seen his iconic photo of Joanne Wilson in Jim Crow-era Alabama.

Parks’ striking photo captures Wilson and her niece, Shirley Diane Kirksey, standing underneath a neon movie theater sign, which points to the establishment’s “COLORED ENTRANCE.” The photo was taken in 1956.

The Gordon Parks Foundation last week honored Wilson with a color print of the photo, during its annual awards dinner at New York City’s Plaza Hotel, the New York Times reports.

“I wasn’t going in,” Mrs. Wilson told the Times. “I didn’t want to take my niece through the back entrance. She smelled popcorn and wanted some. All I could think was where I could go to get her popcorn.”

Click to see the iconic photo and more of Parks’ work.

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.

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