Friday, April 07, 2006

Revisiting the Learning Tree---R.I.P. Mr. 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."
"At first I wasn't sure that I had the talent, but I did know I had a fear of failure, and that fear compelled me to fight off anything that might abet it."

Many people forget or were unfortunately very unaware that Mr.
Gordon Parks, one of the greatest talents this planet has ever known and produced passed away on March 7,2006 at the age of 93...Mr. Parks not only did many things well he did them exceptionally well...He was a photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director...If it wasn't for Gordon Parks Three Six Mafia wouldn't have probably been in the running for an Oscar let alone having the possibility to win it...You see Gordon Parks besides being the first African American Photographer at the prestigious LIFE Magazine was also the first African American Director to be endorsed by Hollywood...Although to their credit Mr.Clooney's Hollywood did give the under appreciated Hattie McDaniel an Oscar back in 1939 it nonetheless took them 30 plus years to warm up to giving an African American a chance to earn recognition behind the camera...Mr. Parks directed the critically acclaimed The Learning Tree which is based loosely on his life experiences growing up in his native Kansas and the classic Shaft starring Richard Roundtree which ushered in the era of unique cinema known as Blaxploitation movies..(It should also be noted that Mr. Parks late son and namesake also directed the classic SuperFly starring Ron O'Neal)...You see it was 35 years ago when Mr. Parks gave the Memphis native known as Black Moses a.k.a. Isaac Hayes the opportunity to produce the theme song for Shaft which is not only a timeless classic, but also produced an Oscar win for Mr. Hayes, the first time a Black person ever received the prestigious award for the Best Song category...So you see it's really a full circle thing the fact that Mr. Parks died several days after the Oscars and that another group of talented musicians from Memphis had a chance to have their song heard in a movie genre he helped to pioneer...Gordon Parks once said that one should never put limitations on one's self because society already does that for you...Although the man is gone his spirit and passion for life shall live as long as there are people willing to create their destinies through the will of their God given talents and imagination!!!
Bro. R2
please check out these other links for more info on Mr. Parks:,+Gordon,+1912-+photographer+))+@field(OTHER+@od1(Parks,+Gordon,+1912-+photographer+)))+@FIELD(COLLID+fsa))

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