Gordon Parks, photographer, filmmaker, writer and composer who used his self-taught talents to chronicle the African-American experience. He was also the first African-American to work as a staff photographer for Life magazine and the first black artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film, “The Learning Tree,” in 1969. By the time he was 50 he ranked among the most influential image makers of the postwar years. In the 1960’s he began to write memoirs, novels, poems and screenplays, which led him to directing films. In addition to “The Learning Tree,” he directed the popular action film “Shaft”.
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