This is a book I’d been meaning to read for a few months, but when it was mentioned recently in one of my favorite photography podcasts, I decided there was no time better than the present. If you want the short answer on whether this is worth reading, the answer is a resounding yes, immediately! As I’m a hobbyist photographer, I approached this from that angle, and the book truly came alive once Gordon purchased his first camera, as a young man. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, but I will say it’s almost unbelievable all the things Mr. Parks accomplished and all the people he met and befriended in his time. If you’ve seen the movie Forrest Gump, Gordon’s tales can seem very Gumpesque, only Gordon’s are real and even more common, and that’s both good and bad, at times. Not to mention that given his brown skin, the era he lived in and the issues he was trying to expose and change with his camera, his real life is far more impressive than any movie character’s fictional one could ever hope to be.
My original rating of this book was only 4 stars, because Goodreads doesn’t allow half stars, and I wanted to give myself a day or two to think on it, to avoid being a prisoner of the moment. I’ve done that. I’m not. This is a 4.5-5 star book. Go love it.