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Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America

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The Society of Illustrators Original Art Exhibit 2015
2015 NAACP Image Award—Outstanding Literary Work, Children
New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2016—CBC/NCSS

STARRED REVIEW! "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."—Kirkus Reviews starred review

"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

The story of a self-taught photographer who used his camera to take a stand against racism in America.

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.

ISBN-13: 9780807530177

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Whitman Albert & Company

Publication Date: 02-01-2015

Pages: 32

Product Dimensions: 8.20(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

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.

Read an Excerpt

Gordon Parks

How the Photographer Captured Black and White America


By Carole Boston Weatherford, Jamey Christoph

ALBERT WHITMAN & Company

Copyright © 2015 Carole Boston Weatherford
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8075-3017-7


CHAPTER 1

The youngest of fifteen, Parks arrives stillborn and is nearly left for dead until a dip in ice water shocks his tiny heart to beat. The baby is named for the man who saved his life, Dr. Gordon.

When young Gordon crosses the prairie on horseback, nothing seems beyond reach.

But his white teacher tells her all-black class, You'll all wind up porters and waiters.

What did she know?

After Gordon loses his mother at age fourteen, he moves in with his sister in Minneapolis.

Soon on his own, Gordon works odd jobs: busboy, piano player, and finally porter and waiter.

Twenty-five years old and all but broke when a magazine spread about migrant farm workers inspires him to buy a used camera. That $7.50 is the best money he will ever spend.

In one month he teaches himself enough for an exhibit at a camera store.

Soon, he is shooting fashion and portraits. One model tells him to take his camera to the big city.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Gordon Parks by Carole Boston Weatherford, Jamey Christoph. Copyright © 2015 Carole Boston Weatherford. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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