Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power October 16, 2022–January 16, 2023

“The significance of this collection of photographs . . . is evident in every image.” —Houston Chronicle

In 1967, Life magazine published a groundbreaking profile of Black Power activist Stokely Carmichael, with images and reporting by photographer Gordon Parks. The exhibition Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power features the five images by Parks from the article, along with nearly 50 additional photographs and contact sheets never before published or exhibited. Also included in the presentation is footage of Carmichael’s speeches and interviews.

One of the 20th century’s preeminent American photographers, Parks (1912–2006) created work focusing on social justice, race relations, the civil-rights movement, and the African American experience. In 1966 and 1967 he went on the road with Carmichael (1941–1998) and took more than 700 photographs as the controversial young civil-rights leader addressed Vietnam War protesters in New York, spoke with supporters in a Los Angeles living room, and went door to door in Alabama registering Black citizens to vote. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Carmichael issued the call for Black Power in a Mississippi speech in June 1966, eliciting national headlines and media backlash.

Parks was the first Black staff member at Life, and in his finely drawn sketch of a charismatic leader, he reveals his own advocacy of Black Power and its message of self-determination. Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power is on view exclusively at the MFAH.

The accompanying exhibition catalogue is available through the MFA Shop (713.639.7360) and the Museum’s Hirsch Library (713.639.7325).

Listen to the playlist created in collaboration with Houston-based DJ Flash Gordon Parks and inspired by the exhibition.

Group Visits
Visiting with a group of 10 or more? For information, see Group Visits and Tours. Group reservations not available for opening and closing weeks.

Curatorial Insights
Photography curator Lisa Volpe gives an overview of the exhibition.

Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power / October 16, 2022–January 16, 2023

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in collaboration with the Gordon Parks Foundation.

Generous support for the exhibition and opening celebration provided by:
Anne Levy Charitable Trust/Jean Karotkin

Dr. Ruth Simmons
Drs. Jakeen and Garfield Johnson
Simin and Gaurdie Banister
Drs. Annette and Anthony Brissett/Nicholas Stuart and Zsavon Butler
DIR Inc./Drs. Russell H. and Rosalind C. Jackson
Wendy and Mavis Kelsey/Fan and Peter Morris
Karen and Ramon Manning 
Merinda Watkins-Martin and Reginald Martin


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