If you're in New Orleans before January 12, 2014, I sure hope you make your way to the Gordon Parks exhibit, "The Making of an Argument."
The exhibit is produced really well and the story of Mr. Parks' Life magazine article, "Harlem Gang Leader" based on the life of the gang leader, Red Jackson, is well documented with pictures and the information printed along with the pictures gives a summation of a really interesting situation which will probably irk you even as you're grateful for the opportunity to view the work first hand.
Mr. Parks' frustration with Life magazine was warranted as he took lots of pictures which depicted the complete story of who Red Jackson was as a person, gang leader and community activist of sorts. Life magazine chose to only use pictures they could manipulate to tell another story and turned Red into a straight up violent criminal in the pages of their magazine. There was major dispute over this and Gordon Parks' was not silent about his anger and disappointment.
It makes you think about how the media has always focused on showcasing the most negative thing they can to make the public stay as afraid of Black people as possible. *sigh*
It was very thought provoking. VERY.
Sadly, it seems, not much has changed as it relates to gangs in all this time but learning about how he felt his work was depicted versus how he'd HOPED it would be depicted says a lot that is still relevant today.
We simply have to do better, be better. Anger at a system which considers you less than human still reigns supreme in some areas even as we seem to have come so far. If you don't get to go to New Orleans before then...check out the book. It's pretty awesome too. http://www.steidl.de/flycms/en/Books/The-Making-of-an-Argument/1222263350.html
What's the last exhibit you went out of your way to see?