Gorden Park Thinklink Post

Six Rhetorical Triangle for the extract


Low to upper-class American citizens who are aged between 20 ~ 50 years old and English literates


Illustrate the unfair society in the United States


Gordon Park


Racial Discrimination


Street Photography


The magazine “Life” was published on September 24th, 1956.


Thesis Statement:

In street photography, Gordon Park utilizes graphic elements, layout, and symbolism to illustrate unchanged racial inequality in American citizen’s life.

The photographer uses different colors in this extract to reveal the harsh reality in the United States. First, the black woman and a girl are wearing a pink shirt and a sandal. However, for the white society, white mannequins are wearing black and blue sweaters which represent loyalty and royalty. Therefore, it shows the difference of class in America.

The usage of graphic elements in this extract creates a comparison between black and white people to illustrate the severity of racial discrimination in American society. At first, by looking at the black woman’s and a girl’s outlook, they are wearing general clothes (not expensive clothes) and even a girl is currently half-naked. In contrast, over the glass wall, some expensive, fancy clothes are exhibited and worn by a white mannequin, which represents white people. The comparison of the outlook of black and white clearly shows the wealth disparity between the two races so that the audience can emphasize the harshness and severeness that the black people had in their daily life.

In this extract, Park lastly employs some symbols in his photos to display the existence of racial discrimination in the “Land of Free.” By looking at the photo, the audience can easily notice that there is a glass wall between black and white people. And then, the black girl is trying to push the glass wall which obstacles her and her mom to reach the place where the majority of white are being positioned. Glass wall and glass ceiling often represent an invisible barrier that prevents a given demographic (typically applied to minorities) from rising beyond a certain level in a hierarchy. Therefore, intentionally taking a photo of a girl pushing a glass wall, Park desires to convey the message to the audience that countless black people are working to overcome problems regarding racial discrimination. However, now observing the women’s behavior, she looks unmotivated and even persuading the child to stop her behavior. Considering the meaning of her daughter’s gesture and glass wall, the woman conveys that even though the black society has worked eagerly for equality, there aren’t any differences. This leads the audience’s mind to acknowledge the unchanged public in the United States.

Through the use of graphic elements, color, and symbolism, the photographer Gorden Park illustrate unchanged racial inequality in American citizen’s life in his street photography.