Alicia Keys © 2018 Jamel Shabazz
The Gordon Parks Foundation 12th Anniversary Awards Dinner and Auction was held on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at Cipriani 42nd Street. Event co-chairs were Kenneth and Kathryn Chenault, Alicia Keys and Kasseem « Swizz Beatz » Dean, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Karl Lagerfeld, Leonard Lauder and Judy Glickman Lauder, Valerie Jarrett, Usher IV and Grace Raymond, Kendrick Lamar, and Alexander Soros. We honored Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ava DuVernay, Sherrilyn Ifill, Sally Mann, and Jamel Shabazz. Ronald O. Perelman was presented with the Patron of the Arts Award.
Jamel Shabazz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of fifteen, he picked up his first camera and started to document his peers. Inspired by photographers Leonard Freed, James Van Der Zee, and Gordon Parks, he was marveled with their documentation of the African American community. In 1980, as a concerned photographer with a clear vision he embarked on a mission to extensively document various aspects of life in New York City, from youth culture to a wide range of social conditions. Due to its spontaneity and uniqueness, the streets and subway system became backdrops for many of his photographs.