Parks is known for his spectacular photography during the Great Depression but he was also a talented writer, director and songwriter. In the Great Depression, Parks worked for the Farm Security Administration supplying images of urban life, workers, and people living through the intense economic times. He became a staff photographer for LIFE magazine in 1950s, where he would stay for the next 20 years. Parks was a prolific artist. He also took some of the most memorable portraits of African-American historical figures, including Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and Muhammad Ali.
Simpson rose to fame as fashion photographer for the Village Voice and the Amsterdam News in the 1980s. Her worked focused on the cultural and political events of Black people in the 80s and 90s. In addition to being a photographer, Simpson created the jewelry line, The Black Cameo. Celebrities like TV host and journalist Oprah Winfrey and actress Ruby Dee are fans of her work.