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Hip-Hop’s Great Day: Gordon Parks and a Legacy of Photographic Inspiration

Harry Allen, “The Media Assassin” and journalist; Nelson George, filmmaker; Adrian Loving; artist and educator; Miles Marshall Lewis, author of There’s a Riot Goin’ On; Vikki Tobak, author of Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop. On February 17, 2019, the National Gallery of Art hosted a discussion celebrating the ingenuity, dedication, and power of Gordon Parks. Local artist and educator Adrian Loving and scholar Vikki Tobak explored the visual influences and legacy of Gordon Parks in photography and film. Parks’s famous photograph A Great Day In Hip Hop (published in XXL Magazine, September 1998)—itself a tribute to Art Kane’s 1958 photograph A Great Day in Harlem—was the touchstone of this discussion, held in association with Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950.