Exhibition: A Choice of Weapons, Honor and Dignity

Wednesday, Apr 8, 2020 from 11:00am to 5:00pm


Minnesota Museum of American Art (The M) is pleased to present an exhibition, A Choice of Weapons, Honor and Dignity: The Visions of Gordon Parks and Jamel Shabazz.

This exhibition includes photographs that document expressions of dignity, honor, hope, and love in the African-American community by two towering photographers. Featured works include Gordon Parks’s astonishing images from the Jim Crow-era through the civil rights movement, and photographs by Brooklyn-based artist Jamel Shabazz, who has followed in Parks’s footsteps from the 1980s to the present day. The exhibition’s title comes from Parks’s autobiography (published in 1966), which chronicles his use of the camera to effect social change—an approach to photography that inspired Shabazz to begin taking pictures and one that continues to guide his prolific career.

A Choice of Weapons, Honor and Dignity explores how Parks and Shabazz have both used photography to empower communities and lift up Black voices.

The exhibition is curated by Robin Hickman-Winfield, CEO and Executive Producer of SoulTouch Productions and a great-niece of Gordon Parks, with the help of four Gordon Parks High School Scholars and curatorial advisors, Travell Williams, Andrew Shorty, Amelia Pharmer, and Tyrell Horton, Choice of Weapons Fellow and Gordon Parks Legacy Movement Program Assistant. Key components of the communications and marketing strategies were designed by the BrandLab interns Elijah Buchanan, Waylon Rembert Jr., and Charvaye Williams.

Hickman-Winfield (with the help of M Trustee Nathan Johnson) will also be assembling a Vision Council of distinguished black men in the Twin Cities. This transgenerational group will meet at the M to discuss how this exhibition can serve as a platform for healing and for lifting up Black voices.