Gordon Parks is a photographer, writer, poet, filmmaker, and composer. In 1949, he joined the staff of Life magazine where he worked as a photojournalist for twenty years, completing over 300 assignments on a broad range of topics. His career in film began in 1961 when he wrote and directed a documentary based on the life of a boy from a Brazilian slum. He is the director of Shaft, Shaft’s Big Score, Super Cops, and Leadbelly. He produced, directed, and wrote the screenplay and musical score for the film The Learning Tree, adapted from his bestselling autobiography of the same name. In 1989, he directed the film of his classic ballet, Martin, based on the libretto and music he composed to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is the author of four volumes of poetry and photographs including Gordon Parks: A Poet and His Camera.