Thursday, October 25, 2007

last summary on the best book i read since the 5 grade

In A Choice of Weapons, a traditional autobiography in twenty-four chapters, Gordon Parks covers fifteen years in his eventful life. The narrative begins when Parks, the youngest of thirteen children, is sixteen years old. His mother has just died, and the family honors her last wish—that Parks leave Kansas and move north to St. Paul, Minnesota, to live with his sister. In the first few chapters, Parks describes growing up in Kansas. Yet in the shorter term, Parks clashed with his brother-in-law, and one night just a few weeks into his stay, the man threw him out of the house and into subzero weather. Parks had two dollars in his pocket and a cardboard suitcase. For another week, school would be closed for the Christmas break. He spent these days homeless, bouncing between Jim Williams's pool hall during the day and the trolley cars at night. One morning, hungry and broke, Parks drew a knife on one of the conductors, and then, in shame, offered to sell it to him in exchange for breakfast. A few days later as school restarted, Parks fought a skinny dog for a pigeon and won; he promptly defeathered the bird, roasted it over a paper fire, and ate it. In the months that followed, Parks found a somewhat remunerative job playing piano in a St. Paul brothel until a fatal stabbing closed the house.
Parks dropped out of high school, and in the ensuing years, he cleared tables as a busboy at the Minneapolis Club, cleaned a flophouse in Chicago (where he nearly shot the manager after being stiffed on a paycheck), and toured one winter with a semiprofessional basketball team. While Parks was busing tables in a Chicago hotel, a white bandleader heard him playing the piano and invited him on tour, eventually depositing him in New York City and stranding him there. At the advice of the band's drummer, Parks took the A Train all the way to 145th Street. "That was the highest number," he writes. "Best to think high at a time like that." Unfortunately, after a few weeks of unemployment, Parks was forced to sink to a lower high; he started making deliveries for a dope dealer.
A year-long stint in the Civilian Conservation Corps followed, and while enlisted, Parks married his first wife, Sally Alvin. The couple moved back to Minnesota and in the coming years they would have a daughter and two sons. Parks's next job as a porter on the North Coast Limited was to prove his last days in the service profession. Reading the magazines that passengers had left behind, Parks discovered the seminal work of the great Depression-era documentary photographers--Walker Evans, Jack Delano, John Vachon, Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, and Carl Mydans--and this inspired him to invest in a used camera that he would deem "his weapon against poverty and racism." After being fired from the train--he threatened the dining-car steward with a bread knife after a racial incident--Parks put his new weapon to the test.
What arrived next, finally, was an uninterrupted string of successes: a show in Chicago; an unexpected opportunity to shoot fashion for an upscale Minneapolis couture; and ultimately, a chance to work for Roy Stryker at the Farm Security Administration in Washington D.C. as the agency's first black photographer. Parks, inundated by a mean logic of hardship and injustice, had chosen not to believe in that logic; compare the phenomenon to that of a man standing neck-deep in rising water while insisting that he's mostly dry.
And yet at this fortuitous juncture in Parks's sojourn, an unlikely one for him to have ever reached, the story becomes even more incredible, and it can be told through his pictures.
"American Gothic" may be the most famous piece in the Parks oeuvre and it is one of the first. Shot in 1942 within the offices of the FSA, the photo features a black charwoman, Ella Watson, standing before an American flag with a mop in the background and a broom in the fore--like Grant Wood's stoic farmers planted in front of their barn. She wears round spectacles and a frumpy dress and her jaw is hard and mannish. Her eyes see no pleasure, and that tacit resignation speaks more convincingly than any rhetoric of hope or change. The focus is tight and the individual broom bristles jut forward akimbo from the frame; the stars of the states line up in orderly rows, out of focus.
"American Gothic," like the rest of Parks's FSA work, is poetic and unsentimental. In one piece, a line of Benedictine nuns crosses a yard, their cowled heads turned down to the scripture, a beach tree bending in the foreground of a wind-swept prairie. In another, a woman props up her young son from the armpits, his jaw slack and his mouth a black hole; the white satin of Babe Ruth's open casket fills the lower right-hand corner of the frame.
Upon the dissolution of the FSA photographic program, Stryker sent Parks to work for the Office of War and Information where he was assigned to shoot one of the first companies of black airmen. These photos convey the sexy mechanical curves now familiar from car ads, and a cocky heroism familiar to much war photography. And conservative politicians in Washington, anticipating just this, pulled Parks off the job before the pilots shipped overseas, depriving them of the publicity and Parks of a livelihood.
Parks next tried to find work in New York, where he visited the art director of Harper's Bazaar. Though the man declared that he was impressed by Parks's portfolio, no assignments were to follow. "'I'm sorry to be frank with you,'" Parks recounts the man saying in his autobiography Voices in the Mirror, "'but there is an inflexible rule here in the Hearst organization that forbids our hiring Negroes.'" Parks took the same pictures to Condé Nast, and starting shooting fashion for Glamour and then Vogue.
Surprisingly, some of Parks's most challenging photography would appear in the eminently commercial pages of Life magazine, where he would create pleasant portraits of American artists and musicians, while also capturing some of his grimmest documentary series. One of these chronicles a few bloody weeks with the Midtowners, a New York youth gang then involved in a turf war. In one picture, a teen crouches in a darkened room, his right hand planted in a thick layer of crumbling tile, his left holding half a brick. In another, a teen bloodied at the mouth and chin, wearing a blood-spattered, double-breasted pinstripe jacket, lies supine on the ground, hands balled in fists above his head, eyes closed. At the top of the frame, a disembodied hand touches his sleeve. This young man is not going to get up.
And as Parks has looked for violence, violence has looked for him. After a white colleague greeted Parks with a quick kiss in public, three Texas men were dissuaded from attacking him only after he purchased a loaded gun in front of their eyes. Following the murder of Malcolm X, the photographer and his family were sent overseas, as the FBI suggested that the Nation of Islam had targeted Parks as a close friend of the slain leader. (Ironically, Parks's name resurfaced in the news a few years ago when the FBI investigated his goddaughter, Qubilah Shabazz, for allegedly plotting the murder of Louis Farrakhan.) Ultimately, instead of doing harm, Parks has put himself in harm's way, and he's told stories of the life there without sensationalism, cheap emotion, or easy empathy.
At the conclusion of the movie Leadbelly, a biopic that Parks directed in 1976, its title character languishes in a Southern jail. Escaped from prison and recaptured, he begins to find himself drained of the wrath that has accompanied him on his often wretched journeys through the South. He's stabbed a white man in a dance hall, and shot a black one; he'll most likely die on the chain gang.
It is at this point that Leadbelly gets a chance to set his songs to tape, as the Lomaxes of the Library of Congress pay a visit to the prison. They record Huddie Ledbetter's autobiography and songs in the warden's office. Then it's back to the dusty yard. Yet in the closing shot, we see a temporarily revivified Leadbelly, gray-haired, broad and bare-chested, breaking rocks in dizzying heat. The camera pans across his chains and moves closer, as Leadbelly raises the pickaxe and begins to swing through. And then the shot freezes. That's the end.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

summary part 5

Over the next few years, Parks moved from job to job, developing a freelance portrait and fashion photographer sideline. He began to chronicle the city's South Side black ghetto and in 1941 an exhibition of those photographs won Parks a photography fellowship with the farm security administration. Working as a trainee under Roy Stryker. Parks created one of his best known photographs, American Gothic, Washington, D.C. (named after grant woods painting .The photo shows a black woman, Ella Watson, who worked on the cleaning crew for the FSA building, standing stiffly in front of an American flag, a broom in one hand and a mop in the background. Parks had been inspired to create the picture after encountering repeated racism restaurants and shops, following his arrival in Washington upon viewing it, Stryker said that it was an indictment of America, and could get all of his photographers fired; he urged Parks to keep working with Watson, however, leading to a series of photos of her daily life. Parks, himself, said later that the first image was unsubtle and overdone; nonetheless, other commentators have argued that it drew strength from its polemical nature and its duality of victim and survivor, and so has affected far more people than his subsequent pictures of Watson

After the FSA disbanded, Parks remained in Washington as a correspondent with the office of administration, but became disgusted with the prejudice he encountered and resigned in 1944. Moving to Harlem Parks became a freelance fashion photographer for vogue He later followed Stryker to the standard oil (New Jersey

Monday, October 22, 2007

Quote for the choice of weapons

‘’after so many year’s of service, found this a painfully tiring business’’
This was time of happiness for Gordon park’s he is a wonderfully director. He is watching people go and see his movies. I choose3 this quote because it describes how hard he struggled and finally he is famous and deserves the respect he is getting.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

my journal on the bell

Ahmed Farah

My review on the diving bell and the butterfly
With "locked-in" syndrome due to some event in his brain stem, Bauby is completely paralyzed, able only to move his left eye and blink. Otherwise completely rational, this former editor of Elle, a prestigious Parisian magazine published in twenty plus countries, is completely bed-ridden, breathes through a respirator [diving bell], and is fed through a feeding tube. Using his eye blinks, he is able to communicate and write this book.
A wonderful story - one that works on many levels that an ordinary story doesn't work, because it's so real. Such as when he calls the cripples at his hospital "tourists" because they'll get to go home eventually, whereas he's apparently in for the duration. Or when he tells about his imaginary eating in the best restaurants in Paris and calls it "simmering memories."
[page 36] Once, I was a master of recycling leftovers. Now I cultivate the art of simmering memories. You can sit down to a meal at any hour, with no fuss or ceremony. If it's a restaurant, no need to call ahead. If I do the cooking, it is always a success.
Best part is "indigestion is never a problem." Poignant. Having René perfoned reading it with his sonorous French accent is a wonderful touch - one can easily imagine that one is hearing the author Bauby himself talking inside his head. I first listened to this book on audio tape due to an error in ordering, then later I read along with the audio tape and was able to notice minor changes between the text and the tape, such as substituting on the tape the word "cocoon" for "diving bell". Another interesting juxtaposition is the sentence, "The French team played like pigs." in the book and on the tape it came out, "The French team played like sick cows." Must be an idiom I'm not familiar with that allows the substitution of sick cows for pigs.
He recalls the story of going on holiday with his girl friend to Lourdes and getting in a half-mile long line full of cripples waiting for the Madonna to appear and cure them. He told her he wouldn't
I rely liked this book because it was fun and enjoying but sad to read about wat was really happening to Bauby. I am amazed ho he has the courage to surpass all of this imaginable thing’s how he’s life is compelling, and I also think that he is a courageous person

Sunday, October 7, 2007

week3part 2

I realy like this book i thing this book was awsome i realy enjoyed reading it it weakness was not ralating to wat was realy happening in the book. also not teling us more about the book and story' that changed his life for stongest point was relating to what's happening and how it started.nothing like this ever hapened to me in my life

week3 part1

He stayed at a church in Michigan where he played checkers and sang in a church group. He started to play basketball at parks all around the U.S.A in CHICAGO, NEW YORK, ST PAUL; he struggled against racism and poverty. He also started to learn how to film and be a photographer. He spent three month's in jail for something someone else did. The tortured him and beat him trying to make him confess about a murder he hadn't commit. Eventually they caught the person who committed the murder. that was the thirties. Eventually some of his friend's joined the corp. because of unemployment because of the depression. That’s when he hitchhiked all the way to Ohio when a stranger gave him a ride. He had a few stops but the guy was going all the way to Chicago. When four policemen with shotguns pulled them over for minor traffic stop when they saw the tarpaulin; and the policemen seemed awfully relieved when the saw boxes of rubber heels. The waved at us on without an explanation and in Lima, a small town further down the road, we found out who they were looking for. Three men who killed a sheriff, broken into a jail and escaped with john Dillinger, the most notorious public enemy of the thirties. He took a dad coach from Chicago to Minneapolis. Among him was his three best friend’s then he moved from the camp to another campsite near Philadelphia, he got his wife sally a room in the city with a family named America. It was a comfortable home and they were good people.

My biography

November 30 1912 a Gordon park was born in fort Scott Kansas he was one of the youngest out of 15 children. When his mom died he moved to st Paul Minnesota with his sister because of arguments about him not going to school and learning. They kicked him out they house. That's when he started to live in poverty he than started to work as a piano player at a brothel also he was a busboy and a basketball player and a civilian conservation corps. At the age of 25, park’s beings pursue photographer. in 1941 becomes the first photographer. To receive

His autobiographical novel The Learning Tree, covering his rough Kansas childhood, won rave reviews and strong sales. When Warner Brothers expressed interest, Parks told them he would direct the film himself, and he became the first African-American to direct a film for a major studio. He went on to direct Shaft and its sequel Shaft's Big Score, Half Slave, Half Free, and several other movies. His biography of bluesman Lead belly was perhaps his best film, but it was Shaft that had the most impact on American culture. Black audiences had never before been offered a major-studio action film with a black hero. It not only spawned several years of "blaxploitation" action films, it earned enough money to save then-struggling MGM from bankruptcy. Parks was a close friend of Muhammad Ali, and godfather for Malcolm X's daughter Quibilah Shabazz. He was a co-founder of Essence magazine, and wrote a ballet called Martin, in honor of King. His numerous books include The Sun Stalker, Poet & His Camera, To Smile in Autumn, and his autobiography, Voices in the Mirror. His last book was a choice of weapon’s, which describes his childhood, and all the way to his earl years in his retirement, Parks did whatever he wished. In 2004, he interviewed retro rocker Lenny Kravitz for Interview magazine. He completed a book of nude photography, and often traveled to film screenings and museum programs in his honor.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

a choice of wepons loaded words

forbidden,imaginable, grudgingly,overhauling,contemt,poignant,nocturnal,melancholy,disillusion,bewilderd,
17 18 18 19 23 23 23 24 25 26

because the word's express how he feel's about life and the sitiotion hi's in and the waay the event's are happenening.also it get's my attentoin ho about how thw athur fell's. I thing he choose so we understand what is happenig to him and give us a thougt of what he is going throw.this reding gor this week is a little controversial.also it is getting more and more intersting.

Monday, October 1, 2007

2 summary

on the evening before christmas, he was sweeping the floor when four policemen walked in and stated to push him around.he startyed playing pino for the basillica.he's friend freddie got arested at the store the both worked at . for stolen property like jewl's,guns,clothing,golfbag;s,fishing rod's and also radios

my felling's abpout choice wepons

my felling's about this book is that it has a strong moral view and all of the event's that happend to him was so harsfull. How he overcomed it and how he got out of poverty. also i thing he will become rich a good dirrector and he will became famous and publish photo's for life magazines.

gordan parks summary

gordan parks is one of 15 children.He was born into poor black family in segregated fort scott kansas.his mother was he's influce. when parks was 15 he moved to st. paul whith his sister and his brother in law. he slept in a trooley car loiterd in poll halls. played piono in a bothel worked as a factotum in a whites-only club, and worked as a waiter on a luxury train. also he was a dirretor for the 1971 movie shaft.he was photographer for all the thing's he disliked about america like poverty,racism, discrimiton.