2021 – 2022 English Lang & Lit A SL Non-Literary Work: Gorden Park Harlem Family Photo Analysis

Gorden Park, the eminent African American photographer lived throughout the 20th century. The photograph depicted is part of a series of photographs entitled “Harlem Gang Family.” In the photo, the black woman with the white shirt is cleaning the bathtub in the dirty bathroom. In this photograph, Gorden Park utilizes symbolism, layout, and framing to illustrate the harshness of the working environment for black people. 

Park’s use of symbols in the photo represents the severity of the black people suffering in the poor working environment. By looking at the photo, numerous clothes and trashes are located on the floor and the black woman is busy cleaning the bathtub.

Park employs the layout while he is taking a photo to signify the rigidity of the living environment. Park first positions the clothes in front of the photo and then orders the lady to clean.

The use of framing encourages the audience to have empathy with not only the black woman but also the black society. This picture displays the overall black society in the 1960s in America.

Through the sage of symbolism, layout, and framing, Gorden Park illustrate the harshness of the working environment for black people in the photo.