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BSA related article in UK press - The Guardian

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  • BSA related article in UK press - The Guardian

    thought i would share this little piece from the UK newspaper - The Guardian:

    Washington DC in the early 1940s was, for photographer Gordon Parks, not a welcoming place. He arrived in 1942 to work for the Department of Agricultures Farm Security Administration set up to improve the lives of poor, rural landowners as the only black member of its photography corps, and discovered bigotry all about him. He was turned away by restaurants, kicked out of theatres and denied service at department stores. After just a few days in the city, he was demoralised. In this radiant, historic place, he said, racism was rampant.
    That backdrop of open prejudice makes his relatively unknown documentation of several interracial childrens camps all the more remarkable. After the FSA disbanded, Parks remained in Washington as a correspondent with the Office of War Information, and one assignment was to photograph this bold social experiment run by the Boy Scouts of America. Espousing egalitarian ideals, the groundbreaking camps were designed to encourage black and white kids to eat, play, pray and raise the US flag together.
    A year later, in 1944, disgusted with the prejudice hed encountered, Parks resigned. He moved to Harlem to work as a freelance fashion photographer, and in 1948 a photo-essay on a Harlem gang leader won him a job as a photographer and writer with Life, making him the first African-American staffer on a major US magazine. For the rest of his career, he produced an extraordinarily broad range of work, photographing fashion, sport, Broadway, racial segregation and poverty, and shooting everyone from dictators and gangsters to children in slums and film stars. And he never stopped: he would be 100 now, and probably still working.

    Full article here:

  • #2
    What's the purpose of posting this? No one denies there was racial discrimination in the past in the US and the UK. We're all better off on this country getting past racial discrimination.

    Now if some would just let it go and move on.


    • #3
      I believe the point is that in the face of blatant racism the BSA was running integrated camps for all children.

      Nice post. Thanks, Pint.


      • #4
        Eagle, the reason why i posted it was because it showed how Scouting bought yuong people together from different racial backgrounds, at a time when racisms was rife, and acepted as normal.


        • #5

          Now, if we could get "the REST of the story", to use a phrase, and find out the history of the camps. Where were they? Who organized them? National (in New Jersey, then, I believe)? A local council ? What was the result?