Excerpt from the Hilarie M. Sheets article in the New York Times:
In 1948, Gordon Parks was the first African American to be hired by Life magazine as a staff photographer, and he used his unique position and camera as his “choice of weapons,” in his words, to fight for social change.
For more than two decades he raised awareness of the Black experience in America in extraordinary works including 1948 street scenes when he was embedded with the Harlem gang leader Red Jackson; a 1957 photo essay, “Atmosphere of Crime,” on policing in marginalized urban areas; his 1963 images of protests against police brutality, and his 1967 exposé of poverty, documenting the Fontenelle family in Harlem.
In 1969, he also became the first African American to write and direct a major studio film, “The Learning Tree,” a semi-autobiographical story, and would go on to direct films like “Shaft” and “The Super Cops,” and to help found Essence magazine.
Now, “Gordon Parks: A Choice of Weapons,” highlights his work for Life at the Howard Greenberg Gallery’s new exhibition space on 57th Street and helps mark the gallery’s 40th anniversary. The exhibit, on view through Dec. 23, focuses on Parks’s humanistic and cinematic approach to his subjects...