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Rep. John Lewis on Death of Gordon Parks

March 7, 2006
Press Release

March 7, 2006 - Congressman John Lewis made the following comments in response to the death of Gordon Parks:

"Gordon Parks was an extraordinarily gifted photographer. He used the lens of his camera to capture the pain and the triumph of life in Black America. He photographed the major movements of his time-the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Migration of black people from the rural South to the large urban centers in the North. He used his perceptive eye and photographic skill to paint a very vivid picture of the inner workings of Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam. He documented the lives of notable Americans like, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., as well as other luminaries of religion, politics, and entertainment.

"Gordon Parks was the supreme Renaissance man. He was not only a photographer, but a choreographer, painter, director, composer, and author. His movies, "The Learning Tree" and "Shaft" offered divergent perspectives on American life that had a major impact on the life and thinking of many young African Americans. Gordon Parks made a lasting contribution to our society. He was extraordinary, but still so approachable, so human. He was one of the most talented men of our time."