Gordon Parks: Muhammad Ali


A compilation of both well-known and unpublished photos, Gordon Parks: Muhammad Ali, as the title simply implies, focuses on two instances where the incredible photojournalist (and author, director, and composer) profiled the prolific boxer. In 1966, Parks covered Ali for Life Magazine. In 1970, the pair reconnected for a feature in The Great American Magazine. Intimate and incredibly artistic, the photographed moments represent pivotal points for both parties. Parks, after this string of successful stories, turned to directing, writing, and composing—namely his Blaxploitation genre hit Shaft. Ali, in the throws of vilification across America for his polarizing views on war and race, appears more human in Parks’ pictures. The bulk of these photos predate Ali’s arguably most famous fights—1974’s The Rumble in the Jungle and 1975’s Thrilla in Manila.