Gordon Parks The OG? By Jonah Artis

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Gordon parks education was very little he dropped out of high school in St. Paul. While working as a porter on a passenger train, Gordon Parks happened to pick up a magazine left behind by a fellow porter. In it were images taken by Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, and others from the Farm Security Administration. It was a series of photographs showing men, women, and children, all suffering from poverty; the migrant workers of the Dust Bowl. Parks could not stop staring; he was mesmerized. He went back to the magazine over and over again, memorizing the subjects’ faces and the names of the photographers.

Early Career :At the age of 25, Parks was struck by photographs of migrant workers in a magazine and bought his first camera, a Voigtländer Brillant, for $7.50 at a Seattle, Washington, pawnshop. The photography clerks who developed Parks' first roll of film, applauded his work and prompted him to seek a fashion assignment at a women's clothing store in St. Paul, Minnesota, that was owned by Frank Murphy. Those photographs caught the eye of Marva Louis, wife of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. She encouraged Parks to move to Chicago in 1940, where he began a portrait business and specialized in photographs of society women. Parks's photographic work in Chicago, especially in capturing the myriad experiences of African Americans across the city, led him to receive the Julius Rosenwald Fellowship, which, in turn, contributed to being asked to join the Farm Security Administration under the auspice of Roy Striker

Later Career : Later in career he settled down and started making more movies and started writing more and then every now and then he would come back and take photographs.

Awards won : National Metal of Arts, Springarn Medal, Anisfeild-Wolf Book Award, NACCP Image Award-Hall of Fame Award.

Sources: www.google.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Parks, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Parks

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Jonah Artis
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