But every so often, a talent comes along that’s undeniable, regardless of your taste. An eye for capturing the beauty of life through a filter so sophisticated and pioneering, it almost feels inhuman. It’s brilliance, draped in an elegant, cascading cloth of cool. It goes beyond enterprise; these are the moments that define eras, their legacies cemented in time.
So what determines a once in a generation talent? What ingredients are necessary to develop a groundbreaking perspective and skill? Is it all some chance blessing gifted by the great unknown? Or are there key moments in one’s journey that chart a course for their God-given gifts? For proof of the latter, take a look at Parks’ incredible life.
A young Parks would experience a number of traumas, including the loss of his mother in his early teens. He was also subjected to the hellish evolution of racial disparity. He was both a witness to, and on the receiving end of violent prejudice as a child. But at the same time, a vision would ever so gradually come into focus. “I saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs.’
Gordon Parks would go on to see a lengthy and storied career in film, writing, and photography. He’s the first to break down the walls of racial inequity in the film industry. He pledged his gift to elevating black voices and documenting black culture. He used his talent to capture and broadcast moments just like the ones that informed his perspective.