JILL KREMENTZ PHOTO JOURNAL: The Gordon Parks Foundation Awards Dinner Celebrating the Arts and Social Justice

Featured image
“I suffered evils, but without allowing them to rob me of the freedom to expand.” — Gordon Parks

After a two-year Covid hiatus, The Gordon Parks Foundation Awards Dinner and Auction returned to Cipriani 42nd Street where 500 people raised their glasses to honor the great Life Magazine photographer. They also raised their paddles during an auction of Parks’s framed photographs. The evening netted 2.2 million dollars.

The honorees were Darren Walker, Laurene Powell-Jobs, Tora and Spike Lee, and Mark Bradford.

Cora Taylor, now 84 years old.

Among the presenters and celebrants were Wynton Marsalis, Anderson Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Charles Blow.

Leslie Parks Bailey, Gordon’s youngest daughter, announced the three 2022 Fellowship Recipients. Peter Kunhardt Jr., the Foundation’s Executive Director made it all happen.

The evening also honored Cora Taylor who appeared in a 1956 Gordon Parks photograph — At Segregated Drinking Fountain, Mobile,  Alabama.

In the summer of 1956, Life magazine sent Gordon Parks to Alabama to document the effects of Jim Crow laws on the daily lives of Black Americans. Among the individuals captured in this image is Cora Taylor, the 18-year-old young mother wearing sunglasses, standing on the right, nearer to the candy store.
Cora Baker, who now lives in Los Angeles, was presented with this framed iconic photograph taken by “the man with the camera and a New York license plate.”
Peter Kunhardt Jr., Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation, welcomed over 500 guests to Cipriani 42nd Street.
Left:  Leslie Parks Bailey, Gordon’s daughter, announced the 2022 Fellowships.
Right:  NY Times columnist Charles Blow whose opera, Fire Shut Up in my Bones, recently opened at the Met. Mr. Blow lives in Atlanta.
Left:  Leonardo DiCaprio and environmental activist, Catherine Flowers Coleman.
Right:  Mitchell Rales, who owns the Glenstone Museum in Maryland.
Artist Mark Bradford with his partner Allan DiCastro.
Jackson Lee with her father Director Spike Lee, who is decked out in his Morehouse College blazer.
Mr. Lee and his wife Tonya were among the evening’s honorees.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Radcliffe Bailey with his wife Leslie Parks Bailey.
Left:  Photographer Carol Friedman.
Right:  Writer Dominique Clayton and her husband, sculptor Mustafa Clayton who flew in from Los Angeles for the celebration. I felt fortunate to be seated with them.
Wynton Marsalis not only introduced honoree Darren Walker, he trumpeted the Ford Foundation’s president striving for social justice.
Darren Walker and Wynton Marsalis.
Left:  Rev. Dr. William Barber II introduced Laurene Powell-Jobs.
Right:  Philanthropist Laurene Powell-Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective, was honored for her dedication to supporting journalism — a vital civic institution.
The final award of the evening was presented by Anderson Cooper to Mark Bradford.
I hope you all saw the wonderful two-part segment that Anderson did on 60 Minutes profiling the Los Angeles artist.

Gordon Parks with his wife, Gene Young. The evening was dedicated to Gene, who died on February 18, 2020.

Recent Posts