Gordon Parks was a Black American photojournalist, musician, writer and film director who is known for breaking the "color line" in professional photography.
"I saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs," said Parks, who was born in Kansas in 1912. "I knew at that point I had to have a camera."
A self-taught photographer, he was the first African American staff photographer for "Life" magazine, and took photos of many notable figures in history throughout the years. He was the first Black man to produce and direct a major motion picture, paving the way for Black directors after him. In 2000, he won The Congress of Racial Equality Lifetime Achievement Award.