"Fresh from assignments at Vogue and Glamour in 1948, Gordon Parks appeared one morning at Life's New York headquarters, determined to show his portfolio to Wilson Hicks, the magazine's esteemed picture editor,"Maurice Berger wrote for the "Lens" blog Wednesday at the New York Times.
"Mr. Hicks was initially reluctant, but he warmed to Mr. Parks' work and the story he pitched about the gang warfare then plaguing Harlem.
"That meeting resulted in two milestones: The photo essay Mr. Hicks commissioned, 'Harlem Gang Leader,' would be Life’s first by a black photographer, and the first of many for the magazine by Mr. Parks. The project is the subject of an exhibition, 'Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument,' at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. . . ."
Berger also wrote, "'The Making of an Argument' is an illuminating exercise in visual and racial literacy, investigating how words and images communicate multifaceted realities, convey points of view and biases, and sway or manipulate meaning. . . ."
- John Edwin Mason, Time: Revisiting Gordon Parks' Classic Photo Essay, 'Harlem Gang Leader' (Sept. 21, 2014)