Guess who is joining in on the Black History Month fun. Macy's, that's who. This month Macy's, The Gordon Parks Foundation and the American Black Film Festival are celebrating the 100th Birthday of Gordon Parks. I'm excited because I get to join them in the celebration. Next Wednesday February 13th I'll be heading down to Macy's Center City (1300 Market St, Philadelphia, PA) to attend "In Conversation". "In Conversation" is a spirited discussion on Gordon Parks' influence on film and the future of African-American cinema with actor Malik Yoba. "In Conversation" will be moderated by NBC's Monique Braxton and veteran writer & producer Joseph Lewis. The event is free to attend, so I hope many of you come out. Just register via Macy's Eventbrite.
So, who is Gordon Parks? Here is a hint; he is not Rosa Parks' father, son, or husband. Gordon Parks was the first African-American to work for LIFE magazine. He was hired as a staff photographer in 1948. Gordon Parks went on to find success as a photographer, film director, author and composer interacting with many prominent people of his era including politicians, artists, celebrities, and athletes. He was a humanitarian who was committed to social justice. His body of work documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, Civil Rights and urban life.
Because I love a good quote here are a few from Gordon 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."
“Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.”
“The guy who takes a chance, who walks the line between the known and unknown, who is unafraid of failure, will succeed.”
“You know, the camera is not meant just to show misery. You can show things that you like about the universe, things that you hate about the universe. It's capable of doing both.”I really hope to see some of you there next Wednesday. If you don't make it there, I will be live tweeting and commenting on face book so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Like the Chasing Joy Facebook Page Also If you miss "In Conversation" make sure you stop by sometime this month. All month long Macy's Center City will have photographic art installation featuring some of his most beloved works. You can also visit macys.com/celebrate to enter for a chance to win a trip for two to The American Black Film Festival in Miami, courtesy of American Airlines, a $1000 Macy’s shopping spree and Gordon Parks: Collected Works, a five-volume set of his photography.
Macy's will be having "In Conversation" events in New York, Los Angeles, Concord, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, Miami, Atlanta, D.C., Pittsburgh, San Francisco Houston, Bowie, and Cincinnati. Visit Macys BHMonth to find details about the location nearest you.
Are you familiar with Gordon Parks? Have you seen the photographic art installation already? Will you be joining me in attending "In Conversation" in Philly or a City near you?
*Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.