Gordon Parks was commissioned by Life magazine in 1957 to create a portrait of segregation in the South titled The Restraints: Open and Hidden. The experience was a harrowing one for Parks – during his first visit to the south Parks was placed in charged racial environment of Alabama while narrowly escaped an ambush by vigilantes with tar and feathers.
The original Life story featured 26 color photographs. A number of these were printed later in Parks career, mostly in black and white, and exhibited nationally, including at the Corcoran Museum of Art. In 2012, The Gordon Parks Foundation discovered a cache of color transparencies, labeled with masking tape “Segregation Story.” The brilliance of this misplaced collection of color works led the Foundation to create a boxed set of archival pigment prints revisiting this historic story.