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Gordon Parks


“He’s the godfather of African-American photographers,” Memphis native and D.C.-based photographer Jason Miccolo Johnson said of Gordon Parks, the first African-American staff photographer at Life magazine. Parks died on March 7th at the age of 93, and Johnson was there at the funeral service at Manhattan’s Riverside Church on March 15th, eulogizing Parks and taking pictures.

It's what Parks would have wanted him to do, Johnson says. “If you were a musician,” Johnson told The New York Times, “you wouldn’t just sit in the audience and listen. You would pick up your instrument and play. So photographers pick up their cameras and shoot.”

It’s what Johnson’s done in the forthcoming Soul Sanctuary: Images of the African American Worship Experience (from Bulfinch press). The book’s due out in May. The foreword? By Gordon Parks.

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