Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America

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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.

Product Details

$16.98  $15.62
Albert Whitman & Company
Publish Date
February 01, 2015
8.4 X 0.4 X 10.2 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Carole Boston Weatherford is the author of several acclaimed poetry collections and poetic biographies, including Sugar Hill and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, winner of a Caldecott Honor, the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, and the NAACP Image Award. She teaches at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. Jamey Christoph studied illustration at the Ringling College of Art and Design. His illustrations have appeared in a variety of major publications and in several award-winning children's books. He has also received multiple recognitions from the Society of Illustrators and Communication Arts. He works out of his home in Maryland and loves a sunny day on the Eastern Shore with his two crazy dogs, Spencer and Owen.


"This effective overview is a solid addition for those looking to beef up their biography collections." Starred Review, School Library Journal, February 1, 2015
"Created with a certain elegance of line, Christoph's artwork includes many haunting, beautifully composed scenes." Booklist, February 1, 2015
"Weatherford writes in the present tense with intensity, carefully choosing words that concisely evoke the man. Parks' photography gave a powerful and memorable face to racism in America; this book gives him to young readers." Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2015
"Christoph's spreads echo the pared narrative with a muted palette and modest styling, but their impact is powerful." Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, December 22, 2014
"This is a promising vehicle for introducing young children to the power of photography as an agent for social change, and it may make them aware of contemporary victims of injustice in need of an advocate with a camera." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May 2015