I just finished posting to my Community Collaborations blog about this fantastic piece in the Lens Blog: Gordon Parks’s Harlem Family Revisited by John Edwin Mason and Jesse Newman.
The photo essay appeared in the March 8, 1968 issue of LIFE which is online in its entirety via Google books. In reading the lens blog article and viewing the slide show I did not have a memory of seeing this essay even though I was reading LIFE magazine religiously at that time. Seeing it now, I think how could my family not have talked about this? As has happened many times before, I am struck at how sheltered I was growing up. But then I looked at the essay in the LIFE issue online and seeing it as I saw it in 1968, I remembered it! Black inner city poverty (and so much else) was so foreign to my world in suburban LA that LIFE was how I learned about the world beyond me. And I learned it through pictures. I cannot help but think that my weekly journeys with LIFE led to many of the life choices I made.