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Gordon Parks : How the Photographer Captured Black and White America
by Carole Boston Weatherford and Jamey Christoph


Overview - His white teacher tells her all-black class, You'll all wind up porters and waiters. What did she know? Gordon Parks is most famous for being the first black director in Hollywood. But before he made movies and wrote books, he was a poor African American looking for work.  Read more...

 
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More About Gordon Parks by Carole Boston Weatherford; Jamey Christoph
 
 
 
Overview
His white teacher tells her all-black class, You'll all wind up porters and waiters. What did she know? Gordon Parks is most famous for being the first black director in Hollywood. But before he made movies and wrote books, he was a poor African American looking for work. When he bought a camera, his life changed forever. He taught himself how to take pictures and before long, people noticed. His success as a fashion photographer landed him a job working for the government. In Washington DC, Gordon went looking for a subject, but what he found was segregation. He and others were treated differently because of the color of their skin. Gordon wanted to take a stand against the racism he observed. With his camera in hand, he found a way. Told through lyrical verse and atmospheric art, this is the story of how, with a single photograph, a self-taught artist got America to take notice.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780807530177
  • ISBN-10: 0807530174
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
  • Publish Date: February 2015
  • Page Count: 32
  • Reading Level: Ages 5-8


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > Biography & Autobiography - Art
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > People & Places - United States - African-American
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > Photography

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-12-22
  • Reviewer: Staff

Weatherford’s (Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century) spare, lyrically formatted prose combines with Christoph’s (the Origami Science Adventures series) stylized illustrations to tell the story of 20th-century African-American Renaissance man Gordon Parks. The present-tense narrative takes readers from the birth Parks barely survived through the odd jobs of his early years to his adulthood as a self-taught photographer and later novelist, musician, photojournalist, and director. Troubled by what he sees in the nation’s capital, “Park vows to lay bare racism/ with his lens.” His iconic 1942 photograph, “American Gothic,” depicts African-American cleaning woman Ella Watson, broom in one hand and mop in another, the U.S. flag as her backdrop. “She knows all too well/ that the opportunities/ the flag symbolizes are denied her/ because of skin color.” Christoph’s spreads echo the pared narrative with a muted palette and modest styling, but their impact is powerful. One shows Parks observing black families who live in rundown alley dwellings as the shiny, white U.S. Capitol building looms in the distance. An afterword fleshes out Parks’s story and includes a few b&w photos he took, including “American Gothic.” Ages 5–8. (Feb.)

 
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