Gordon Parks – photographer, composer, director, author and social commentator – has passed away.
I read Gordon Parks’ “A Choice of Weapons” when I was young and had the pleasure of meeting and talking with him for a while when he came to my university for an award. He died at age 93 – a long life in which he crammed in a lot nearly every single year.
Lest people think of him as an academic dork, Parks wrote and directed such classic movies as “Shaft”, which featured the Oscar-winning song that gets stuck in my head every time I hear Isaac Hayes’ bellowin’ voice (and, as well, every time the lady’s gettin’ lucky in Casa Mofangongren… yeah, I know somebody’s thinking ). Although “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” has just taken top honors at the Oscars, I think it’s clear that today’s fake blaxploitation music has none of the strength of the stuff we knew of old.