Macy's Celebrates Gordon Parks for Black History Month #MacysBHM13

This past weekend, my son and I headed back to Brooklyn and into Macy's for their in-store celebrations for Black History Month. Since the Brooklyn Macy's store is located in one of the central areas for the African American community and families, it was great that it offered a variety of family friendly activities for Black History Month.

Macy's Celebrates Gordon Parks for Black History Month

The first activity we joined in was at the children's "Design your own book" event with story telling. My son joined the other kids in crafting his own book, where he completed activities like drawing his hand and filling in questions about himself. While the kids filled up their book, an artist went around sketching portrait of the kids for their book covers. I thought that was such an cool idea.

Macy's Celebrates Gordon Parks for Black History Month

After working on their book, the kids (and me) sat down for story time. A professional story teller read "of Thee I Sing" written by President Barack Obama. She also taught the kids a song in a African native language.

Macy's Celebrates Gordon Parks for Black History Month

Our next stop was to the Soul Jam style dance party, where my son showed off his dance skills in a mini video that was turned into a mini book. A book he shared with Ann Tripp from the “Steve Harvey Show” on WBLS, who was there to share music and get the people dancing.

Macy's Celebrates Gordon Parks for Black History Month

Later that day we took our seats for the "In Conversation" with Danny Simmons, Nelson George, Warrington Hudlin and Lauri Lyons for a discussion on Gordon Parks' influence on film and the future of African-American cinema.

Each of the panelists shared their memories and insights into Gordon Parks works as a filmmaker, author, musician and photographer. They discussed how Gordon Parks was really a renaissance man who was able to connect with anyone and share his vision.

What was remarkable to hear was that Gordon Parks was told he didn't need to go to school. That black people didn't need a higher education. Not only did Gordon Parks get his higher education but he went on to be extremely successful in many different areas including being a photographer for Life magazine and the director of the original Shaft movie.

The panelist also discussed current artist trends happening here in American, in African with Nolo films and online with independent media. For creative types within the African American community, there's lots of ways to produce work outside the mainstream.

For those interested, you can learn more about the American Black Film Festival and Macy's Sweepstakes for a trip for two to The American Black Film Festival in Miami, courtesy of American Airlines, a $1000 Macy’s shopping spree and Gordon Parks: Collected Works, a five-volume set of his photography. Enter by February 28!

Macy’s is continuing the celebration of the life of Gordon Parks with more "In Conversation" discussion with special guests and a photographic art installation featuring some of Gordon Parks most beloved works, such as American Gothic, Washington D.C. 1942 during the month of February! To learn more visit http://bit.ly/BHmonth

The life of Gordon Parks has shown.....if there's a will, you'll find the way. Keep being creative and adding your voice to both the artistic and to the human community. What a great lesson for Black History Month!

Note: As a member of Everywhere Society, I was invited as media to cover this event and was compensated for this post regarding Macy’s Celebration of Black History with Gordon Parks. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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