"So if the ideal of achieving a
true political equality eludes us in reality�as it continues to do�there is
still available that fictional vision of an ideal democracy in which the actual
combines with the ideal and gives us representations of a state of things in
which the highly placed and the lowly, the black and the white, the Northerner
and the Southerner, and the native-born and the immigrant are combined to tell
us of transcendent truths and possibilities."
�Ralph EllisonIn, 1981, in a new introduction to his novel Invisible Man
The Civil Rights Movement: A Photographic History, 1954-68
Steven Kasher, Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams
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Format: Hardcover, 245pp
Pub. Date: September 1996
Publisher: Abbeville Press, Incorporated
From Abbeville Press, Incorporated
This is the first book to tell the story of the civil rights movement through the rousing and often wrenching photographs that recorded, promoted, and protected it.
With a far-ranging selection of striking images and a lively, cogent text, Steven Kasher captures the danger, drama, and bravery of the civil rights movement. After an impassioned foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams and an introduction explaining the vital importance of photography to the movement, the book proceeds from the Montgomery bus boycott through the student, local, and national movements; the big marches in Washington and Selma; Freedom Summer; Malcolm X and Black Power; and the death of Martin Luther King.
Each chapter begins with a fast-paced narrative of a crucial event in the movement, complemented by a portfolio of the most effective and evocative photographs of the subject. Ranging from the well known to the rare, these images were shot by photographers including Richard Avedon, Danny Lyon, Charles Moore, Gordon Parks, Dan Weiner, and over fifty others. Many of the pictures are accompanied by thought-provoking remembrances and analysis by various photographers and participants.
A concise chronology of the major civil rights events of the period and useful suggestions for additional reading and web-browsing conclude this invaluable, inspiring volume.
Steven Kasher, who lives in Manhattan, is a photographer, writer, and curator. He organized the traveling exhibiton Appeal to This Age: Photography of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968. Myrlie Evers-Williams is past chairwoman of the NAACP and widow of the civil rights activist Medgar Evers.
"I find it difficult to look at these photographs without flinching from the memories and from the anger they invoke. But I must look. I must remember, as you must. For this was history in the making. Like it or not, you cannot hide from the camera's eye."
’myrlie Evers-Williams, from the Introduction
"With the exception of those involved at the time, no one knows how important the effective use of the news media was to our safety, and even our lives. Whenever a field secretary was jailed or a church mass-meeting bombed, whenever night riders struck or firebombings occurred, whenever a local leader's home was shot into, or any other serious act perpetrated, Julian Bond and I went into high gear. The presence of a reporter at a jail or a telephone inquiry from a newspaper was often the only step that let a local sheriff know he was being watched. Our job, in mobilizing the press, was to make local law officers feel that they were under scrutiny, thereby providing a measure of safety for civil rights workers."
�Martin Luther King, Jr.
Civil Rights Oral History Bibliography
Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project