insomaia (insomaia) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

o hay more death

Shaft director Parks dies at 93

Photographer and director Gordon Parks, who made the film Shaft, has died at the age of 93.

Parks, who worked for the US magazine Life for 20 years before working in film, is credited as being Hollywood's first black director.

Released in 1971, Shaft saw Richard Roundtree play black detective John Shaft. The film was remade in 2000 with Samuel L Jackson in the lead role.

Parks' other films include The Learning Tree and The Super Cops.

Parks, who also wrote fiction and was an accomplished composer, died at his home in New York, said his nephew Charles Parks.

During his time as Life's first black photographer, he covered everything from fashion to sport but was best known for his photo essays on poverty and the civil rights movement.

Film preserved

Born in Kansas, Parks had been orphaned by 15 and was homeless.

He later said: "I think it was a natural follow from that that I should use my camera to speak for people who are unable to speak for themselves."

Parks became the first black writer and director of a Hollywood film when he made The Learning Tree, an adaptation of his novel about growing up poor and black in 1920s Kansas.

In 1989, the film was among the first 25 to be deemed culturally and historically significant and was preserved in the US National Film Registry.

Shaft, one of the first of a wave of "blaxploitation" films that directly targeted a black American audiences, spawned a hit song, Theme from Shaft by Isaac Hayes.

Parks wrote volumes of poetry and fiction, became an accomplished pianist and wrote Martin, a ballet about civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, which was shown on US TV.

I can't believe I woke up to have missed all the pete wentz penis drama. Fucking time difference.
and if everyone could just stop dying now, that would be great thnx

Edit ;
African star Ali Farka Toure dies

One of Africa's best known musicians, Ali Farka Toure, has died after a long illness in his home country of Mali, the culture ministry has announced.

He was one of the pioneers of "Mali Blues" and his 1994 Talking Timbuktu album produced with US blues guitarist Ry Cooder was widely acclaimed.

Toure, who was in his late 60s, won two Grammy awards for his work.

In 2004, he was elected mayor of his home town of Niafunke on the shores of the River Niger in northern Mali.

Mali's prime minister, culture minister and many of Mali's top artists have been gathering at his home to pay their respects ahead of his funeral on Wednesday.

Radio stations in the capital, Bamako, have interrupted their normal coverage to play his music.

He died in Bamako but is to be buried in Niafunke, 850km north of the capital on Wednesday, the authorities have announced.

Toure won Grammys for Talking Timbuktu and again this year, for his album in collaboration with another famous Malian musician, Toumani Diabate, In the Heart of the Moon.

His record label, World Circuit, said he had just finished work on a new solo album.

Traditional sound

Although he has worked with several US blues guitarists, the "Bluesman of Africa" always insisted that the music had its roots in the traditional sounds of northern Mali, rather than the southern United States.

Malian journalist Sadio Kante says Toure was better known abroad than in his home country.

He was born in Timbuktu in 1939 but the exact date of his birth is not known.

"For some people, Timbuktu is a place at the end of nowhere," he was once quoted as saying.

"But that's not true, I'm from Timbuktu, and I can tell you that it's right in the centre of the world."

During the 1990s rebellion by the Tuareg people of northern Mali, Toure was seen as something of a peacemaker by singing in all of the region's languages - Songhai, Fulani and the Tuareg's Tamashek.

Many Bamako residents saw him as a northerner, rather than a national figure, says Sadio Kante.

But those in Mali's entertainment business are in mourning.

"A monument has fallen. With the death of Ali Farka Toure, Mali is losing one of it's greatest ambassadors," television producer Mbaye Boubacar Diarra told the AP news agency.

He leaves a widow and 11 children.
that's like...5 people in the last week?

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