Black History Month- Gordon Parks

Adonis Richards
3 min readFeb 14, 2023

On Honor Of Black History Month, we honor and celebrate black figures in history that have been the vanguards of our advancement. Throughout history, we have had figures that went through the fire knowing we’d someday reign. Here today we recognize their accomplishments.

Gordan Parks was an American photographer, writer, composer, and filmmaker. Prolific and world-renowned for his work, he is revered for projects such as Shaft and The Learning Tree.

Shaft Trailer - Gordon Parks

Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kansas On November 30ths of 1912. Amazingly Parks is a self-taught artist that broke ground by becoming the first African-American photographer for both Life and Vogue magazines. This is especially exceptional for a creative like myself who seeks to break ground in an oversaturated media realm. If Parks can do it in his time with segregation and racism at a peak, who knows what we as people can do? Especially black creatives with dreams.

Parks was also interested in screenwriting and directing. The Learning Tree was based on his novel in which he was at the forefront of directing. A major feat, and an inspiring artist who not only wrote his own novel but directed the film adaptation to it as well. The movie Shaft was one of his works as well. A classic that has since taken a life of its own, especially with its subsequent sequels.

According to, Parks also published a few memoirs in his lifetime, allowing people to forever know who he was.

Who was Parks?

“There’s another horizon out there, one more horizon that you have to make for yourself and let other people discover it, and someone else will take it further on, you know”

Shaft Original Parks

Parks has an invigorating story as an African-American who carved his own path into creative history. Being born when segregation was at its peak in America, it is common knowledge that he combatted heavy racism.

Not being allowed to participate in after-school activities because of his race is one of the many hardships he faced growing up. When he was 14, he moved from home to live with relatives while seeking employment.

“I suffered evils, but without allowing them to rob me of the freedom to expand”- Gordon Parks