“I suffered evils,” said the Black photographer Gordon Parks, who died in 2006, “but without allowing them to rob me of the freedom to expand.” Expand he did, leaving behind an exceptional body of work that documents race relations in America from the 1940s to the new millennium. Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, in a segregated community, and the experience fueled his fight for social justice. His camera, he said, was his “choice of weapon.” In 1969, Parks became the first African American to write and direct a major studio feature, The Learning Tree, a tragedy-riddled coming-of age drama. Now, more than 50 years later, Howard Greenberg Gallery is exploring Parks’s sense of cinema as it is expressed in his photographs. How many stories is he telling through a single shot? —E.C.
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