(K. Brent Tomer),
HALF a century ago in America, nonviolent protests and acts of civil disobedience, organised by leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, helped put the spotlight on the bigotry and injustice that black Americans faced. The civil-rights movement prompted lawmakers to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex or national origin”, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A fifty-something African-American photographer Gordon Parks, who also directed the Blaxploitation film “Shaft” in 1971 and cofounded “Essence” magazine in 1970, was an integral part of the movement, from taking intimate portraits of the characters involved, to photographing the myriad rallies that took place in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Yet Parks, who straddled protest and photography, remains outside the pantheon of great black leaders in civil rights, and is less known his than mostly white contemporaries in photography.
“Fifty Years After: Gordon Parks, Carrie Mae Weems, Mickalene Thomas and LaToya Ruby…Continue reading