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Midway: 1943

Midway: 1943

February 1943. "Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday morning street scene in Midway. McGill's Fish Market and Fann Lunchroom, Pine Street and 2nd Avenue." Midway, along with Newtown and Waycross, comprised the "Negro quarters" of Daytona Beach. Photo by Gordon Parks, Office of War Information. View full size.

 

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Touch of the master's hand

Images come and go on Shorpy, taken by all sorts of photographers, but a photo taken by a master of his craft just stands out. Well done, Mr. Parks. You almost made it look easy.

Gordon Parks Photo Exhibit in Daytona Beach

There was a photo exhibit from September 2015 to January 2016 of Gordon Parks Midway photos from this era. The article at this link gives a little background:

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20150910/ENT/150919950

if this article disappears from the internet, here's the relevant passage:

In 1943 Parks was a photographer working for the Office of War Information when he was assigned to Daytona Beach to photograph Mary McLeod Bethune and the school she had founded, Bethune-Cookman College. The 31-year-old Parks stayed on assignment for several weeks and photographed not only life at the college but also the Daytona Beach neighborhood known at that time as Midway.

Because the images were taken as part of a government project, the negatives were added to the photographic archives at the Library of Congress. Historians do not know if the photos were ever published or exhibited during Parks’ lifetime.

Parks was invited back to Daytona Beach in 1992 as the keynote speaker for the opening of the Southeast Museum of Photography on the campus of Daytona State College. During his visit he discussed his Daytona Beach assignment with the museum’s director at the time, Alison Nordstrom.

That led Nordstrom to track down the images at the Library of Congress and initiate the inaugural exhibition of “Midway: Portrait of a Daytona Beach Neighborhood, 1943” at the Southeast Museum of Photography in 1999.

At the end of the 1999 exhibition, the photos became part of the museum’s permanent collection and have been exhibited at venues across Florida over the years.

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