Friday, January 24, 2020
January 24, 2020: Expanding Civil Rights Memories: Gordon Parks
[For this year’s MLK week series, I’ll highlight under-remembered figures, histories, and stories that can expand our collective memories of the Civil Rights Movement. Leading up to a special weekend post on 21st century voices!]
In June 2015, I dedicated a weeklong series to the amazing photographer, author, filmmaker, activist, and American Gordon Parks. He still needs far better remembering, to expand our collective memories of the Civil Rights era and for many other reasons. Here are links to those five posts:
1) The week started with a few thoughts on the MFA exhibition Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott that kicked off my interest in Parks and his work;
2) On Tuesday I highlighted three exemplary projects in Parks’ career as a talented and groundbreaking photographer;
3) On Wednesday I wrote about his autobiographical novel The Learning Tree (1963) and its film adaptation (1969), both of which remind us of the vital need to expand our canon beyond To Kill a Mockingbird;
4) On Thursday I used Parks’ role as director of the first two Shaft movies to think about the problems and possibilities of Blaxsploitation films;
5) And on Friday I took a step back to think about the complicated, crucial artistic genre of portrait photos (for a lot more on photography and Parks, see the work of Professor John Edwin Mason, for whose book on Parks I can’t wait!).
Special post this weekend,
PS. What do you think? Civil Rights figures, histories, or stories you’d want to add to our collective memories?