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Gelatin silver print
14 7/8 x 19 1/8 ins
© Gordon Parks. Courtesy Gordon Parks Foundation.
Emerging Man visualizes the continuing identity crisis that has affected generations of African-American men. The image is based on Ralph Ellison's novel, Invisible Man (1952), that chronicles the story of a nameless African-American man who lives alone in an underground room as he searches to find himself in a society that does not want to acknowledge his existence and insists that he remain unseen and powerless. This image and three others were published as "A Man Becomes Invisible," in Life (August 25, 1952), 9-11. The article states that with Ellison's help Parks re-created scenes from the novel "to show the loneliness, the horror and the disillusionment of a man who has lost faith in himself and the world."