Gordon Parks

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The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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Gordon Parks

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 26, 2019

We are featuring African-American photographers during this last week of Black History Month. 


Gordon Parks was a modern-day Renaissance man. He was a musician, poet, novelist, filmmaker, and photographer. He directed "Shaft" and was the first African-American photographer and essayist for Life Magazine. Parks spent some of his formative years as a teen in Saint Paul in the late 1920s.


This photo is of Parks signing his books at the St. Paul Hilton Hotel in 1969.