Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks (November 30, 1912 – March 7, 2006) was an American photographer, musician, writer and film director, who became prominent in U.S. documentary photojournalism in the 1940s through 1970s—particularly in issues of civil rights, poverty and African-Americans—and in glamour photography.As the first famous pioneer among black filmmakers, he was the first African American to produce and direct major motion pictures—developing films relating the experience of slaves and struggling black Americans, and creating the "blaxploitation" genre. He is best remembered for his iconic photos of poor Americans during the 1940s (taken for a federal government project), for his photographic essays for Life magazine, and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft. Parks also was an author, poet and composer.
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Self-taught, Parks worked as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration from 1942-1943, Life Magazine from 1948-1961, where he was the first black staff photographer; and as a freelance fashion photographer. He directed films in the 1960s and 1970s including "The Learning Tree" and "Shaft," composed music, and was the author of several books, mostly memoirs.
American, African American
Artist, Author, Film Director, Composer, Writer, Photographer
Gordon Parks, Gordon Alexander Buchanan Parks, Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License