Black History Month Celebration

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and recognizing the roles of African Americans History Month. Black History Month was created in 1976, by Carter G. Woodsen. The U.S and other countries, also agreed to have February as the official month that celebrates Black African Americans’ roles and achievements. These two amazing people that I am going to be writing about today are also included in Black History Month Celebration as well.

Kathleen Battle was a Black African American operatic soprano singer. Kathleen Battle was born in 1948, August 13, in Portsmouth, Ohio. Kathleen is the youngest of seven kids whose parents were Ollie L. Battle and Grady Battle. As a child, Kathleen was a good student and a good singer. Kathleen attended public schools in a segregated system. Kathleen attended Portsmouth highs school and she attended Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Ohio where she was awarded a scholarship from there, and where she studied to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education in 1970. After graduating from college, Kathleen fulfilled her desires by teaching music to young African American kids, spreading her knowledge. While teaching, In 1972, Kathleen was noticed singing one day by Thomas Schippers (a conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra). He heard her singing, and he wanted to hire her to perform at the 1972 Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. Since then, Kathleen is getting noticed by an amazing artist and making big moves. The conductor, Schippers introduced Kathleen to a conductor named James Levine, who was to become influential in her performing career. By 1976 Kathleen started to sing in major American opera houses.

In 1977 she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City as the Shepherd in Richard Wanger Tannhäuser. Kathleen also played important roles such as (Susanna) ( The Marriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Despina in Così fan Tutte). After all of the fame, In 1994, Kathleen had to leave doing Metropolitan opera because she got into an alto cation, with a member of her rehearsal team and they had rumors around, where she would have inappropriate behavior to backstage staff, and in that time they couldn’t have anyone representing opera in that type of way.

Kathleen was celebrated and awarded for important roles that she attended, Kathleen was celebrated for her interpretation of African American spirituals, Kathleen recorded a worldwide variety of music and won five Grammy Awards between 1986 and 1993. Until this day, Kathleen continued to be charted on all of the music magazines and journals, including Billboard, Stereo Review and Opera News and she still does some spirituals and continues to share an amazingly beautiful voice.

In conclusion, Kathleen Battle was known for being an amazing opera singer. The things that I wanted to remember about Kathleen Battle, is that she followed her dreams and she set a goal for herself and she accomplished them. The thing that I learned about this, is that you can have a dream and succeed in it. The thing that I admired about her was that she was a Black African American opera singer.

Gordon Parks

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and recognizing the roles of African Americans History Month. Black History Month was created in 1976, by Carter G. Woodsen. The U.S and other countries also agreed to have February as the official month that celebrates Black African Americans’ roles and achievements. These two amazing people that I am going to be writing about today are also included in Black History Month Celebration as well.

Gordon Parks, was a Black African American, documentary and fashion photographer, film director, writer, producer, poet, novelist, essayist, and a composer. Gordon Parks was a self-taught artist who became the first African American photographer for Life and Vogue magazines. Gordon was born in 1912, November 30 in Fort Scott, Kansas, Gordon was the youngest of 15 whose parents were Sarah Parks and Jackson Parks. When Gordon was young, he attended a segregated elementary school, as a child, Gordon had a rough life, he was bullied and had awful things told to him because of the color of his skin. Gordon then attended the integrated Mechanical Arts High School. In the following year, Gordon was fourteen only when his mother died, he was sent to live in Minneapolis, St.Paul, to live with his sister. After dropping out of high school, Gordon finally wanted to pursue his dream of being a photographer, at the age of 25.

Gordon bought his first camera after he was inspired by the amazing work in the magazines that he noticed. For a couple of days, Gordon started to put in the hard work, taking photos of things that meant to him, his photos caught the attention of Marva Louis ( the wife of Joe Louis the boxer) who motivated him to move to a larger city to gain more attraction to his work. Soon after the encouragement kick in, Gordon was off to Chicago, where he began to take notice of Chicago portraits and their fashion photographers and Black African American abandoned neighborhoods. These portraits caught the eye of Julius Rosenwald, which led him to become a photographer at the Farm Security Administration in 1942.

In 1948, Gordon became one of the staff for Life, a magazine company,( Gordon was the first Black African American to keep that spot). Gordon continued this dream for 20 years, of producing photographs on fashion, sports, and racial segregation and he also did portraits of Black African American leaders such as Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. In 1963 Gordon published one of the bestselling novels, (Learning Tree). In 1969, Gordon became the first Black African American to direct a major Hollywood movie and created one of the biggest hits films of 1971, (Shaft) and (Shaft’s Big Score). Between all of the fame, Gordon was awarded for accomplishing millions of achievements in his life, between 1984-1998 such as The Anis- Wolf Book Award for Lifetime Achievement, The National Medal of Arts Award, NAACP Image Award- Hall of Fame Award, Spingarn Medal. In Gordon’s later years of his life, after the fame, Gordon went through plenty of marriages and also between those marriages Gordon had four beautiful kids, Gordon Parks Jr, David Parks, Toni Parks-Parsons, Leslie Parks. After all of the fame, the 93-year-old Gordon Parks died of cancer in 2006, March 7, in New York City, until this day Gordon is still celebrated in museums like ( The Museum of Fine Arts and High Museum of Art). While Gordon Park’s legacy continues.

In conclusion, Gordon Parks was a good, smart, intelligent man. Gordon Parks was known for being the first film director, being a fashion photographer, film director, writer, producer, poet, novelist, essayist, and a composer.

The thing that I want to remember about Gordon Parks is that he never gave up, no matter what got in his way and if somebody tore him down he would get back up to finish his dream. The things that I learned from this essay is that, if you want to do something in life, you go and do it. The things that I admired about Gordon Parks are that he has good motivation quotes, and enough he was a Black African American man he accomplished a lot of things in life and he represented the Black African American community.