Chain Gang, Alabama by Gordon Parks (1956)

The photograph titled “Chain Gang, Alabama” was captured by the artist Gordon Parks in the year 1956. It depicts a scene of a chain gang, which is a group of prisoners chained together performing outdoor manual labor. In the black and white image, prisoners can be seen wearing striped uniforms typical of prisoners’ garb from that era. They are laboring on or near railroad tracks, and some appear to be carrying tools like picks or shovels. Guarding the prisoners is at least one armed man on horseback, overseeing the work. This scene is set against a backdrop that shows an open landscape with power lines stretching into the distance, further emphasizing the expansive yet confined circumstances that the individuals in the chain gang are experiencing. The photograph is a powerful document of the era and serves as a historical testament to the conditions of penal labor at the time.

Other Photographs from Gordon Parks

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