Gordon Parks Analysis


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Berry, Skip. Gordon Parks. New York: Chelsea House, 1991. A brief biography of Parks, liberally illustrated with black-and-white photographs taken by Parks and others.

Harnan, Terry. Gordon Parks: Black Photographer and Film Maker. Champaign, Ill.: Garrard, 1972. A brief biography of Parks that shows how he overcame many obstacles to become a renowned photographer and filmmaker. Illustrated by Russell Hoover.

Moore, Deedee. “Shooting Straight: The Many Worlds of Gordon Parks.” Smithsonian 20 (April, 1989): 66-77. A general article about Parks and his many accomplishments. Written shortly after he was given the National Medal of Arts by President Ronald Reagan, an award suggesting the magnitude of the changes that took place during Parks’s lifetime.

Parks, Gordon, Sr. A Choice of Weapons. New York: Harper & Row, 1966. An autobiographical work covering the author’s difficult life in Kansas, Minnesota, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C., up until the year 1944, when he went to Harlem. The title of the book refers to his choice of the camera as a “weapon” against racial and economic injustice.

Parks, Gordon, Sr. “How It Feels to Be Black.” Life, August 16, 1963. Parks’s own reflections on his life and times.

Parks, Gordon, Sr. To Smile in Autumn. New York: W. W. Norton, 1979. A memoir illustrated with his own distinctive black-and-white photographs. Covers his life and work during the period from 1944 through 1978.

Turk, Midge. Gordon Parks. New York: Crowell, 1971. A book-length discussion. Illustrated by Herbert Danska.

Yoder, Edwin M., Jr. “No Catch for the Hawk.” Saturday Review 49 (February 12, 1966): 40. Favorably reviews Parks’s A Choice of Weapons, which tells of the barriers Parks faced after leaving Kansas. Yoder calls the book an excellent introduction to what it meant to be black, poor, and ambitious in the years between the two world wars.