Voices In The Mirror An Autobiography

Voices In The Mirror An Autobiography
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  • ISBN-13: 9780767922128
  • ISBN: 0767922123
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Publisher: Broadway Books


Parks, Gordon, Jr., Parks, Gordon


1. Gordon Parks's childhood is characterized byragethe rage ignited by indignities he suffers as a black boy born in America in 1912. Considering the whole of Parks's life, when and how does rage inspire and motivate him? When and how does rage inhibit and stifle him? How does one harness rage for one's own benefit or gain? What leaves an individual at risk of being swallowed up by it?2. Parks's parents imbue him with an ability to turn the other cheek; to nonviolently, but nonetheless powerfully, resist and combat hatred hurled at him by racist whites. How does this teaching manifest itself in Gordon's later life? Consider his parents' philosophy in relation to the theories, tones and tactics of different arms of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements Parks describes.3. As a photographerbut also as a black man of humble roots who achieves remarkable success within "elite" white institutionsParks holds a passport into profoundly different worlds. He is permitted access and granted the opportunity to observe and traverse moneyed, privileged lives as well as intensely impoverished, sorrowful ones. Is he truly at ease in either world? What particular comforts and what particular troubles does he face in sites of poverty and in sites of privilege?4. How might Parks's experience reflect that of pioneering African Americans who have broken down the barriers of segregation only to find themselves alonesole black souls in often hostile white environments?5. The lives of several of Parks's companions and acquaintances serve as foils to his own extraordinary life. What people, in particular, provide alternate versions of how Parks might have turned out? How does Parks perceive his own fortunes and misfortunes, particularly when contrasted to the alternate lives and journeys of the people he's known?6. Parks is an extraordinary Renaissance man, gifted with a varied and ever-expanding repertoire of talents. He is a photographer, composer, musician, author, poet, screenwriter, director, and even a young athlete. How does he perceive the special uses and special limitations of his respective talents? What are the particular powers and limitations of music? Of photography? Of authorship? Of film?7.Lifemagazine provides Parks with ample resources through much of his career: money for the impoverished Da Silvas and the Fontenelles, the means of travel to the ends of the earth, the sheer power of the written word, and the impact of wide media attention.Lifemagazine enables and empowers him to achieve personal goals. How does Parks's association withLifealign itself with his personal mission and ethics? Do his professional associations ever impede his personal goals? Explain.8. Whether standing in the line of fire amid a gang war, wandering into the unknown despairs of a Brazilian favela, or withstanding the virulent threats of hateful racistsParks is fearless. What enables his fearlessness? What tools does Gordon possess to encourage and embolden him? How, for example, is Gordon's camera such a tool? How is it a weapon? How is it a shield?9. In the course ofVoices in the Mirror, Parks portrays three deeply impoverished familiesthe Parkses, the Da Silvas, and the Fontenellesand describes the rules and dynamics that govern their lives. Discuss the differences among these depictions. What distinguishes the poverty of the Parkses from the poverty of these other families? Is there such a thing as chronic or terminal poverty?10. At one point in his narrative, Parks proclaims that "freedom belongs to the strong" (p. 183). How is "freedom" defined and achieved in Parks's narrative? Is it achievedParks, Gordon, Jr. is the author of 'Voices In The Mirror An Autobiography', published 2005 under ISBN 9780767922128 and ISBN 0767922123.

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