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A Hungry Heart: A Memoir
A Hungry Heart: A Memoir Gordon Parks 0743269020 9780743269025 A Hungry Heart is a compelling reflection on some gentle and fierce times both in the life of Gordon Parks and in our own recent history. People now and in the future will thank him for l
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A Hungry Heart: A Memoir by Gordon Parks

A Hungry Heart is a compelling reflection on some gentle and fierce times both in the life of Gordon Parks and in our own recent history. People now and in the future will thank him for leaving this account, which may help us all unravel and put in perspective many aspects of coming present tenses.-- Ruby Dee|A Hungry Heartis a memoir of timeless importance. Gordon Parks is one of my real heroes, a role model of strength and conviction. These qualities unfold through the chapters of his life stories. . . . Essential reading.-- Archie Givens, Jr., The Givens Foundation for African American Literature|Thanks to Gordon Parks, we are all blessed with a greater sense of the world and of ourselves through the art, the music, and the intuitive skills of his hungry heart. What a blessing he is to us all! What a treasure to have the incredible voice and vision of Gordon Parks still hungry enough to continue to teach us all. What an inspiration this renaissance man is to the world! Every page of A Hungry Heart is a feast and only makes you want to learn more from this living legend.... What a blessing! Hallelujah, Gordon Parks!-- Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe| Gordon Parks, acclaimed photographer, filmmaker, composer, and author of fiction and nonfiction, has participated in, been witness to, and documented many of the major events in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries.Born in Fort Scott, Kansas, on November 30, 1912, he left home at age fifteen when his mother passed away. For the next twelve years, he lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, working as a piano player, bus boy, Civilian Conservation Corpsman, and professional basketball player before taking up photography in the late 1930s and moving to Chicago. He was awarded the first Julius Rosenwald Fellowship in photography in 1942 and chose to work with Roy Stryker at the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in Washington, D.C. During World War II, he was an Office of War Information (OWI) correspondent. He photographed fashion for Vogue and Glamour before joining the staff of Life in 1949 and remained a photojournalist for the magazine until 1969. He also became famous in the late 1960s for his stories on Black revolutionaries, later incorporated into his book Born Black. He was a founder and editorial director of Essence magazine from 1970 to 1973. His film career began in 1961 when he wrote and directed a documentary, Flavio. He received an Emmy Award for another documentary, Diary of a Harlem Family, in 1968. He produced and directed Hollywood films including The Learning Tree, Shaft, Shafts Big Score, The Super Cops, and Leadbelly. He is first and foremost a celebrated photojournalist and fine art photographer whose work, collected and exhibited worldwide, is emblematic of American culture. In A Hungry Heart, he reaches into the corridors of his memory and recounts the people and events that shaped him: from growing up poor on the Kansas prairie to withstanding the unbearably cold winters of Minnesota to living on the edge of starvation in Harlem during the Depression. He more than survived the challenges and crises of his life; he thrived and has become one of the most celebrated and diversely talented figures in American culture.| Chapter One Two of my close friends threw a fine birthday party for me. Two daughters, a grandson, a couple of former wives, an ex-girlfriend, old acquaintances, champagne, wine and good music filled the elegant room overlooking New Yorks crystal skyline. It was an evening not to be forgotten. Later, joy still coursed through my thoughts when I plumped my pillow and attempted to sleep. But no matter how I twisted and turned, sleep refused to come. Then, in the silence, one large number began roaming through the darkness. Ninety! I tried telling myself that it had nothing to do with anything, but through the leftover haze of red wine, I realized it had a lot to do with just about everything. On my next birthday I would be ninety. I had better get on with it. Later could be too late. Since that night I have revisited the banquet that life has laid before me. What a superb feast it is! The sweetness of recognition and success, the bitterness of poverty, hunger, and bigotry overlying the rituals of existence: marriage, birth, work, seasoned with pain and joy, and most of all -- love. My mother, father, and fourteen brothers and sisters sowed loves harvest. Years after they were all gone, I ate from that harvest when I needed it. Eventually I was to learn to share their love with those who asked for no more than also to be loved. Nostalgia blankets me when I think back over the years passed. Sometimes I knock on the door of my memory and it opens to an event that came close to denying me a future of any kind. I was born dead. But a young White doctor plunged my blood-soaked remains into a tub of icy water and miraculously gave me life. With determination he had disallowed even death to defeat him. Years later, when told about that event by an older sister, I went to give him my thanks. But by then he was dead. My mother had expressed her gratitude to him by giving me his name. Dr. Gordon was the savior whose color had nothing to do with his giving me, a Black child, a right to life. Resting deep in the corridors of my memory is another event that helped give shape to my future, though I was only ten at the time. Just a few moments away from death, my invalid brother Leroy turned on his pillow and looked steadily into my eyes. Pedro, he said, youve been roughing up people lately. That aint good. Your brains more powerful than your fist. Try using it. Youre to remember that, okay? I stood silent. Words failed me as I gazed into the shadows beyond his bed. He reached for my hand. Okay, Pedro? I placed my hand on his. Then, with my tears flowing, I blurted out, Okay! Okay! and fled the room. His words claimed their rightful place in my upbringing, and within my heart. I was born in a small town in the middle of the vast Kansas prairie, Fort Scott, a place touched by all the hands of nature. It bathed in lovely twilights, burned in scorching summers, froze in icy winters, and was occasionally battered by tornadoes. Fort Scott was also the mecca of bigotry, where discrimination was solidly built on the stones of segregation, in grade schools, movie houses, churches, even the graveyards. The local high school was racially integrated simply because the town fathers couldnt raise funds to build a separate one. But even there bigotry spewed its venom. Black students were denied participation in sports and social activities. It was a large school, but for them, all that space was deserted. During those days I ate hatred, a lot of it. Yet, thanks to a caring mother and father, I also ate cabbage, cornbread, grapes, apples, strawberries, watermelon, and slaughtered hogs from a smokehouse. So I well remember what I was and what I wasnt. Still, it is impossible to forget what I lost along the way. Johnny, my best friend, writhing in a pool of blood after being shot by a jealous rival. Buster, knifed to death after a dispute over a ba

Author: Gordon Parks

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Publisher: Atria

Publication Date: 2005-11-01

Our Price: $3.89

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ISBN: 0743269020
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Gordon Parks  Hardcover