Slate

Life Never Ran These Striking Images of What It Was Like to Be Black in 1950s America

Mrs. Jefferson, Fort Scott, Kansas, 1950.

Mrs. Jefferson, Fort Scott, Kansas, 1950. Photograph by Gordon Parks, courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Gordon Parks Foundation

Gordon Parks hadn’t been to his hometown, Fort Scott, Kansas, in more than 20 years when he returned there in 1950 as a photojournalist on assignment for Life magazine. Growing up as the youngest of 15 children, Parks attended the Plaza School, an all-black grade school in the heavily segregated town. Now, as the first black man hired full-time by the magazine, Parks wanted to find and photograph all 11 of his classmates from grade school as a way of measuring the impact of school segregation. The photo essay he created, which was never published, is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in the exhibition, “Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott,” beginning Jan. 17.

Darren Wilson’s Actions After Shooting Michael Brown: “Totally Unorthodox and Unusual”

Two men look at a makeshift memorial on November 23 in Ferguson, Missouri, where Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Two men look at a makeshift memorial on November 23 in Ferguson, Missouri, where Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown
Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Darren Wilson failed to follow what is considered to be standard protocol after a shooting. And he was hardly the only one. The transcripts from grand jury testimony make evident that police carried out numerous actions that experts say are highly unusual. First of all, Wilson drove himself back to the police station, put his own gun into evidence and quickly washed blood off his hands without anyone photographing them first, reports the Washington Post. Apparently “there was no photographer available” and Wilson seemed to be more concerned with getting someone else’s blood off his body than preserving evidence. “His concern was not of evidence, but as a biohazard or what possible blood hazards it might attract,” said an FBI agent.

A former Florida police chief tells the Post that Wilson’s actions, particularly handling his own weapon and washing his hands, were “totally unorthodox and unusual” adding that “this would be considered very out of line—very, very bad from an investigative perspective.”

Others also moved forward in a way that several experts described as unusual. The officers who interviewed Wilson after the shooting did not record the conversation, for example. And the medical examiner did not take photographs—because his camera’s battery was dead—nor measurements at the scene of the crime—because what had happened was “self-explanatory.”

Obamacare Will Go Back Before the Supreme Court Over Issue of Federal Subsidies

The countdown begins on latest Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare. Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

The countdown begins on latest Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare.
Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Obamacare is going back to the Supreme Court. On Friday, the justices agreed to consider another legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act that has the potential to cripple President Obama’s prized piece of legislation. The question at the center of this dispute is the tax subsidies incorporated into the ACA, and whether individuals who buy plans in states where the state health care exchange is operated by the federal government are eligible to receive tax credits for their purchase.

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