Friday, March 10, 2006

Gordon Parks 1913-2006

It is with great sadness that this site acknowledges the passing of Gordon Parks Sr., a true renaissance man and role model who passed away earlier this week at the age of 93. Parks was a man who excelled in so many areas. He was Life magazine's award winning photographer/journalist from 1958 to 1968. His photos showed the world the painful effects of segregation in the south in the 60s. Parks' film "The Learning Tree" brought him critical acclaim, then in 1971 Parks produced the groundbreaking film "Shaft" , which featured an African-American private detective as confident, self-reliant and in charge. This box office smash helped revive a then slumping MGM. Coincidentally later that year Parks' son Gordon Parks Jr. (who was not blessed with his father's longevity) produced "Super Fly" about a smart young man using the drug business to insure his future. Gordon Parks Sr. was also an accomplished composer whose composition "Don't Misunderstand" recorded by the late O.C. Smith was featured in 1973 film "Shaft's Big Score" As an author Parks' short stories like "Flavio's Home" exposed the painful realities of poverty that Parks spent a lifetime attacking wherever he came across it(in this particular case, the favelas of Brasil). Gordon Parks will be remembered as a man who lived a miraculously productive long life and made every second count.

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