Gordon Parks, Hollywood's first major black filmmaker, died Tuesday at the
age of 93. Parks, who was best known for directing Shaft
and The Learning Tree, broke barriers in white Hollywood and
spawned a series of black-oriented films after the success of Shaft. Before he directed The Learning
Tree in 1969, Parks was known primarily as a writer and photographer. He wrote for twenty years for
Life, until 1968, and as a photographer captured scenes of poverty here in the United States and abroad.There
are some nice tributes to Parks around other film sites. Here are a few:
Polly Anderson of AP has a full obit.
Roger Ebert discusss Parks films, and ponders whether Parks turned to making commerical films like Shaft because the more lyrical The Learning Tree wasn't a box office hit.
Andy Grundberg has a nice write-up about Parks in the New York Times.