#Black History Month: First Black Photographer “Gordon Parks”

Photography is such a beautiful thing. It lets you capture the beauty, emotions and life with pictures. “Gordon Parks” did just that and became the first black photographer. He was a photographer, musician, writer and film director in the 40’s. His work was known everywhere and he was one of the co-founders of “Essence Magazine”. He photographed during the civil rights movement as well, which is why I wanted to speak on him. He was known for his photography of the “poor Americans”.

This was in the 40’s so I am pretty sure he faced racism backlash like everyone else but he obviously pushed through them. One racial issue he faced was when he was a young boy. Three white boys threw him into a river because of hate. He survived and then his mother died. Thrown out by his brother in law, he had to find a way to survive by himself. It’s crazy what someone can do to a child. People who are treated this way never forget what happens to them. They gain from it and that is what he did.

He photographed during extreme poverty moments and even during the Malcolm X speeches. How powerful is that! He did so much and eventually was named photographer of the year. He worked in film, he was a singer, he was a writer, and a painter. Basically an all rounder. That is crazy. I wish I had all that talent. He did what people thought he couldn’t do and made a legacy from it. He will forever be remembered for everything he did because it was a lot. That is someone I would look up to. When you think about what people have been through, it just makes their legacy even more powerful.

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