I took my daughter to see the ‘Outsiders’ exhibit today which included the work of famed photographer, Gordon Parks. Never before have I been moved by photos (some literally brought me to tears) so I decided to explore this gem of a person a bit further.
Parks died on March 7, 2006 at the age of 93. He was the first African-American photographer on staff for Life magazine in addition to being a noted musician, writer and film director.
He gained prominence in photo journalism in the 1940s but it was his 1968 photographic essays for Life magazine that brought forth the injustice in American ghettos.
Parks felt the camera was his weapon and wanted to put a human face on those who many would never encounter, young black children in Harlem who had to get-by under tremendous despair and poverty.
It’s amazing how befitting and relevant some of these images are to Black culture today.
Parks is also credited as the first African-American to produce and direct major motion pictures having directed the 1971 film classic, ‘Shaft’ which subsequently created the “blaxploitation” genre.
If this exhibit comes to a city near you; I would encourage you to get a ticket as it truly is moving!
Learn more here
Tags: Gordon Parks, Gordon Parks Photography, Life Magazine, Blaxploitation, Shaft