Gordon Parks Foundation Raises $1.3 Million, Honors Kareem Abdul-Jabbar And Kehinde Wiley

A whopping $ 1.3 million was raised by The Gordon Parks Foundation at the organization’s annual award dinner and auction on June 4. The Tuesday night event, held at Cipriani, honored former NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and artist Kehinde Wiley, who immortalized former President Barack Obama in a presidential portrait painting.

Both humanitarians have been paying it forward; Abdul-Jabbar with social activism and Wiley with his ‘art-ivism.’ The two icons were honored alongside Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr., Chelsea Clinton, and Raf Simons.

Kehinde Wiley

(Sarah Jones, BFA Images)


Other notable African Americans—including Gayle King, Danny Glover, Questlove, Amy Sherald, Dapper Dan, Coach K, and Carrie Mae Weems to name a few—gathered to celebrate the famed photographer’s legacy, honor those who carry a torch in his name, and support artistic and educational initiatives doing creative social justice work. Key speakers were Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault and Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys, and Tony Award-winner Sarah Jones.

Kehinde Wiley

(The Gordon Parks Awards Dinner, BFA)

“It’s nice to see that Gordon’s legacy is conveyed to many generations after his passing,” Abdul-Jabbar told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “His photographs exemplify and personify the civil rights movement.”

In February, ESPN reported, that the 7-foot-2 inch tall Hall of Famer auctioned four of his six championship rings for $ 1.2 million to benefit Skyhook, his own foundation that offers “STEM opportunities to underserved communities,” according to the organization’s website. The foundation is named after a shot Abdul-Jabbar perfected throughout his ball-playing days. The all-star athlete is adamant about serving children “a shot that can’t be blocked,” and auctioning the historic memorabilia, Abdul-Jabbar stated: “enabled me to give back in an important way.”



Wiley is shooting winning shots as well. Across the Atlantic, the famed artist rolled out Black Rock Senegal, an artist residency in Dakar, to bring together creatives, producing in a range disciplines, from around the world, to work together and shift the global narrative and perspective of Africa.

Kehinde Wiley

(Kehinde Wiley, Swizz Beatz, Sean Zanni/PMC)

In addition to honoring these leaders for their philanthropy and humanitarianism, artist and archivists Guadalupe Rosales and conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas were awarded the 2019 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship. One hundred students received scholarships for their pursuit of the art forms bearing Parks’s “breadth and integrity,” as the Foundation puts it. Disciplines include photography, art history, African and African American studies visual art, and journalism The festivities didn’t stop there. Attendees also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Parks’ iconic photograph, A Great Day In Hip-Hop. Photographer and 2018 Gordon Parks Foundation honoree Jamel Shabazz, known for his documentary-styled images of Black urban life, recaptured the image with several hip-hop artist who were present for the original shoot — including Slick Rick, Pete Rock, Kool Keith, Questlove, Black Thought, Rah Digga, Grandmaster Kas, and hip-hop historian Fab Five Freddy and filmmaker Benny Boom. The cherry on top of the stunning evening was a stellar performance by The Roots.

Kehinde Wiley

(Black Thought, Kehinde Wiley, Swizz Beatz, Questlove, Sean Zanni/PMC)

The Gordon Parks Foundation was born out of great loss when the notable photographer transitioned in 2006. The foundation preserves Parks’s work and makes it accessible to the public. The arts organization has been supporting artists and funding arts initiatives with a focus on social justice since 2009. Each year since, funds are raised through auction and at The Gordon Parks Annual Awards Dinner And Auction where individuals are honored for their astounding contribution to the arts and social justice. In 2017, the foundation established the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship to support creatives working in the same vein as Parks. To find out more about Gordon Parks and The Gordon Parks Foundation, click here.


Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


The Week in Movie News: ‘Flash Gordon’ Remake Gets a Director, ‘Clueless’ Remake Announced and More

The Week in Movie News: 'Flash Gordon' Remake Gets a Director, 'Clueless' Remake Announced and More

Need a quick recap of the past week in movie news? Here are the highlights:



Julius Avery will direct the Flash Gordon remake: Perfectly timed to the week of a Queen biopic's release, an update on the Flash Gordon remake arrived, naming Overlord helmer Julius Avery as writer and director. Read everything we know about the project here. 



Andy Muschietti is making an Attack on Titan…

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New ‘Flash Gordon’ on Its Way From ‘Overlord’ Director; Here’s Everything We Know

New 'Flash Gordon' on Its Way From 'Overlord' Director; Here's Everything We Know

Alex Raymond created Flash Gordon in a comic strip first published in January 1934 and the character soon leaped to the big screen. He appeared in a live-action television series in the 1950s and then debuted on the small screen in animated form in the late 1970s, leading to his return in a starring role in 1980's Flash Gordon.

Sam J. Jones starred in the beloved adventure, featuring a memorable soundtrack by Queen. With Queen getting their place in the sun this week, courtesy of the…

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Gordon, Gino & Fred: Road Trip viewers in hysterics as Gino rubs his naked body up against Gordon’s on a nudist beach

GINO D’Acampo infuriated his co-star Gordon Ramsay by rubbing his naked body up against him during tonight’s episode of Gordon, Gino & Fred: Road Trip.

The celebrity chef wound up Gordon by pulling him in for a hug when he was only wearing his birthday suit, much to the amusement of viewers.

Gino D’Acampo thrilled viewers when he stripped off on a nudist beach during tonight’s episode of Gordon, Gino & Fred: Road Trip
But Gordon Ramsay wasn’t as amused

It happened after Gordon and Fred Siriex accidentally swam up to a nudist beach during filming.

Fred called Gordon uptight as he admitted he didn’t feel comfortable seeing so many naked bodies around him.

Seconds later, Gino ran out from behind a wall and revealed he was in the buff.

As Fred laughed, Gordon begged him to put his clothes back on.

He grimaced as Gino rubbed his naked body up against him

Ignoring him, Gino grabbed him and pulled him in for a group hug.

Gordon grimaced and told Gino he could feel his penis rubbing up against him, leaving fans crying with laughter.

One tweeted: “Oh my God!!!! Trust @Ginofantastico to turn naked! Gordon’s face and reaction was priceless!”

Another said: “In stitches again this week!! @GordonRamsay @Ginofantastico and @fredsirieix1 are amazing together!!”

Fans said they were crying with laughter as they watched the episode

While a third commented: “I’ve never laughed so much at Gino walking naked onto the nudist beach.”

The series has already proved incredibly popular, with millions tuning in to watch the trio travelling through Italy, France and the UK to discover the best food and drink on offer.

When asked about seeing Gino naked on the beach, Gordon admitted: “It was an amazing trip, but we did push each other to the limits and tested our nerves!”

The trio are already planning a second series of the hit ITV show and are hoping to travel the world.

Gino explained: “We’d love to do another trip.

“Fred wants to go to Jamaica, Gordon wants to take us to Las Vegas and I want to take them to Hong Kong!”

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