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Gift of
Charles Carter Smith, Jr. & Library Purchase

1960s Civil Rights Photographs by James E. Hinton

Hinton’s photographs weave together the cultural and political life of African Americans in the 1960’s, the rallies, public appearances, leaders, signs and symbols that grew out of that movement. While leaders of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s are well known and their public roles generally are well documented, Hinton’s photographs include those who walked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, angry crowds gathered beside march routes North and South, and literary and cultural figures who lent their names to the cause. Hinton had access to places where supporters met with leaders, such as the offices of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Black Panthers, the Lewis Michaud bookstore in Harlem, and Pasquel’s Motel café on the morning of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral, where powerful black leaders and organizers had met for their weekly strategy breakfasts.

James Hinton, an award-winning film maker, began his career just as the Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum, and produced an archive of thousands of photographs from that era. An affable young man committed to full citizenship for African Americans, he easily established rapport with many activists and documented their work. He exhibited his photographs as early as 1963, trained at the highly regarded Kamonge photography workshop for African Americans in New York in 1965, and photographed for black-issue news and television programs before he turned to commercial film production in the late 1960s.

The Hinton photographic chronicle complements and extends the Library’s incomplete coverage of this extremely important era. Selection will complement coverage found in the portfolio by prestigious Magnum Agency photographer Danny Lyon, called “Twenty Five Photographs from the Southern Civil Rights Movement.” It will extend coverage beyond that found in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people (NAACP) and the National Urban League, as well as the relatively few photos of this topic in the photo morgues of the Library’s LOOK magazine, New York World Telegraph and Sun, and the US News and World Report for this same period, many of which consist of formal individual and group portraits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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