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Photographs taken by artist Gordon Parks for Life Magazine in 1956

The images were part of a photo essay illustrating the lives of a Southern family living under the Jim Crow laws

 Controversial rules, dubbed the Jim Crow laws meant that all public facilities in the Southern states of the former Confederacy had to be segregated.

 The laws, which were enacted between 1876 and 1965 were intended to give African Americans a "separate but equal" status, although in practice lead to conditions that were inferior to those enjoyed by white people.

 Public schools, public places and public transportation were all segregated and there were separate restaurants, bathrooms and drinking fountains for whites and blacks. The US Military was also subject to segregation. 

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