The Bigger Picture

Why Gordon Parks’ Most Famous Photo Almost Wasn’t Released

Episode 7 | 12m 18s

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During World War II, renowned photographer Gordon Parks created an image that was seen as a searing indictment of racial politics in the U.S. with Ella Watson, a cleaner who posed with her mop and broom in front of the American flag. Host Vincent Brown discusses Parks’ motivation for taking the photo, how he worked with Watson and his philosophy that the camera could be used “as a weapon.”

Aired: 10/18/22 | Rating: NR

Major funding for THE BIGGER PICTURE was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding was provided by the Anderson Family Charitable Fund, the Tamara L. Harris Foundation, the William Talbott Hillman Foundation, the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for the digital production of THE BIGGER PICTURE was provided by Chasing the Dream – a public media initiative from The WNET Group, reporting on poverty, opportunity, and justice in America, and supported by The JPB Foundation, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim, III.

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