He’s a Complicated Man

“Today is the centennial of Gordon Parks’s birth in Kansas. From humble roots, he taught himself photography and in turn taught America about the African-American experience. A man of many firsts — the first African-American staff photographer for Life, the first African-American to direct a major motion picture — he was as prolific as he was talented.”
 — The New York Times has a slideshow of Gordon’s photographs, as do CNN and NPR. The movie he directed? Shaft. He died in 2006, after 93 fascinating years here.