CLEVELAND — From behind the lens of a camera, one man set out to use his art to shine a light on society's ills and inspire a generation of creators and storytellers that would follow.

Gordon Parks was a pioneer in photojournalism and film, inspiring our own Leon Bibb to pursue his own dreams. 

Leon wrote an essay about Parks recently for the Cleveland Museum of Art as they present the exhibit Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950 from now through June 9. 

"In many ways, this exhibition is part of my bloodstream. Whether relating directly to the photographs or relating through my parents, grandparents, and other ancestors, I see myself," Leon writes. 

The exhibition traces Parks' rapid evolution from an accomplished, self-taught practitioner to an independent artistic and journalistic voice widely communicating a meaningful and coherent understanding of critical social and cultural issues.

"These early works of Gordon Parks resonate just as much as they did when he first set the aperture of his camera, aimed it, focused on the nation, and fired the shutter," Leon adds. 

See his tour through the Gordon Parks exhibit in the player above.