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Quote That: ‘Many a man fail as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good.’ -Nietzsche #blackhistorymonth

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Gordon Parks

Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks (November 30, 1912 – March 7, 2006) was a groundbreaking American photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director. He is best remembered for his photo essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft.


At the age of 25, Parks was struck by photographs of migrant workers in a magazine and bought his first camera, a Voigtländer Brilliant, for $12.50 at a pawnshop. The photo clerks who developed Parks’ first roll of film, applauded his work and prompted him to get a fashion assignment at Frank Murphy’s women’s clothing store in St. Paul.

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Parks began working as a self-taught freelance photographer, focusing on everything from fashion to the effects the depression in Chicago’s slums.

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In 1941, Parks met Ella Watson, a government cleaning woman, who became one of his most important subjects. His best-known photograph of Watson is American Gothic, 1942, today an icon of American culture. It shows a dignified woman posed like the farmer in Grant Wood’s 1930 composition, holding a broom and mop in place of the farmer’s pitchfork. Behind her hangs the American flag.

Parks was a close friend of Muhammad Ali, and godfather for Malcolm X’s daughter Quibilah Shabazz. He was a co-founder of Essence magazine, and wrote a ballet called Martin, in honor of King.

His art was about social issues such as poverty, race, segregation and crime. It also enhanced our understanding of beauty, nature, childhood, music, fashion and memory.

By 1944, he was the only black photographer working for Vogue, and in 1948 he became the first black photographer at Life, the most prestigious magazine of its day for photography. Eventually Life sent him to France, Italy, and Spain, and stateside he became known for his photos documenting the civil rights movement.

His autobiographical first novel, The Learning Tree (1963), and his subsequent autobiographies demonstrate that he had learned to value his parents’ hard work, compassion, integrity, and capacity for hope as well as to fear the brutality and perversity of personal and institutionalized racism.

He attended and took photos at the Civil Rights March on Washington, 1963.

He died on March 7, 2006 (aged 93) in New York City.

 


Quote This: ‘Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.’ -Chinese Proverb #Egypt

Eminem – ‘Not Afraid’


Quote This: ‘You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.’ -W. Churchill

Dr. Lance Watson: ‘Tell All My Enemies I’m Back’


YOSEXI Quote This: Practice yourself, for heavens sake in little things, and then proceed to greater. – Epictetus #quotes

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Practice yourself, for heavens sake in little things, and then proceed to greater. -Epictetus

Philosophy, he taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control, but we can accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. Individuals, however, are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, human beings have a duty to care for all fellow humans. The person who followed these precepts would achieve happiness.