It was standing room only as Macy’s at Lenox Square held court to honor the life and influence of one of America’s pioneers in film and photography, Gordon Parks.
As part of Macy’s celebration of Black History Month this amazing event featured an “In Conversation with Discussion” symposium, an in-store display of Gordon Parks’ works, as well as several inspired events surrounding the 100th anniversary of this American icon. Best remembered for his photographic essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film, Shaft, Gordon Parks’ life, his contributions to the arts, as well as his impact on the American consciousness during the segregation era were the topics of discussion during this stellar affair.
The event was facilitated by Tracye Hutchins of Better Mornings Atlanta, and featured a panelist discussion with actor, writer, director, and author, Eriq La Salle, and Arnika Dawkins of Arnika Dawkins Gallery in Atlanta. The esteemed panelists offered insight into the brilliance of Gordon Parks and how his journey from very humbled and extraordinary beginnings culminated into a life that would become one of the most revered in American history. The panel discussion was very spirited as the audience gained a wealth of knowledge on Gordon Parks’ life and career accomplishments such as becoming the first African American to write, direct, and score a Hollywood film (Shaft). Eriq La Salle touched on Gordon Park’s influence on film and the future of African American cinema while also sharing with the audience the challenges that he’s faced throughout his career and also how the current culture within Hollywood has affected our generation.
I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Eriq during the book signing event following the discussion where he signed a copy of his new novel Laws of Depravity. You may recall Eriq’s memorable role as Darryl alongside Eddie Murphy in the smash hit comedy Coming to America, or my favorite as Dr. Peter Benton on the critically acclaimed series ER. A renaissance man in his own right, Eriq is now adding author to his already stellar resume of accomplishments that include actor, writer, producer, and director. I must say that it was definitely an honor to meet Eriq and I look forward to reading Laws of Depravity. Judging by the cover alone, it looks to be a thrilling read! Be sure to grab a copy of Eriq’s new novel Laws of Depravity today!
Last but certainly not least, as part of the events 70’s Soul Jam experience, guests “boogied on down” to music from the movie Shaft, while Macy’s featured live models on display in styles inspired by the era. I absolutely loved the 70’s vibe and the clothes were amazing! Some of the designers featured were Rachel Roy, Calvin Klein, Bar III, INC, Impulse, and BCBG just to name a few. Check out some of the haute styles that were on display.
Throughout the month of February, Macy’s, The Gordon Parks Foundation and The American Black Film Festival will honor Gordon Parks by hosting events such as this at Macy’s stores across the country. Also, several of Gordon Parks’ most beloved works will be on display through March 29th, 2013 at the Arnika Dawkins Gallery located at 4600 Cascade Rd SW in Atlanta. I strongly encourage everyone to go and check out this amazing exhibition.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s Celebration of Gordon Parks. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.