Gordon Parks was the only black photographer to work for Roy Stryker at the FSA/OWI. Stryker was at first reluctant to hire a black photographer and Parks quickly discovered that Washington was a 'hate-drenched city' but he did some of his best work in the city. The fifty photos in the book were taken in 1942 and '43 mainly in Florida, New York and Washington DC. Several of the New York ones are from a May-June 1943 assignment to cover the Fulton fish market, part of a series of studies the Government wanted on food production. Some of the Washington photos are from an assignment to record the life of Ella Watson, who cleaned the FSA offices. Included here is the famous one of Ella posed in front of the Stars and Stripes, holding a broom and mop, inspired by Grant Wood's `American Gothic'. I thought it was slightly unfortunate that the Fulton and Watson photos weren't placed as a sequence in the book.
The photos are full of interesting detail and mostly well framed, probably thanks to Roy Stryker's exact shooting scripts for photographers out on assignments. A stylistic point about Parks photos is that many of them are low down shots, as if he had the camera just above knee level, either straight on to the subject or slightly looking up.
The book is well printed with a 175 screen and the layout follows the same style as the other eight Fields of Vision books. This is an excellent collection, so far, of the sixteen FSA/OWI photographers.