September 24, 2019
David Parks to discuss his father Gordon's 'The Learning Tree'
David Parks, an American photographer, film director and author, will be a guest on the Kansas State University campus Sept. 26-27. He is the son of the late photographer, filmmaker, director, composer and author Gordon Parks, 1912-2006.
Parks will deliver a lecture, "'The Learning Tree' at 50: Gordon Parks' Son David Parks Reflects on His Father's Classic Work," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in Town Hall of the Leadership Studies Building. The lecture is free and open to the public. "The Learning Tree" is a 1969 American drama film written and directed by Gordon Parks, who became prominent in U.S. documentary photojournalism in the 1940s through the 1970s. He was the first African American to produce and director major motion pictures in the U.S. The film depicts the life of Newt Winger, a teenager growing up in Cherokee Flats, Kansas, in the 1920s. "The Learning Tree" is based on Gordon Parks' semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, which was published in 1963.
Parks was a native of Fort Scott, Kansas. David Parks returns to Kansas annually to participate in activities honoring his late father. He will participate in the Gordon Parks Celebration Days Oct. 3-5, highlighting the 50th anniversary of "The Learning Tree," at Fort Scott Community College.
His visit is co-sponsored by K-State's A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Department of Art, Department of English, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art and Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.