January 11, 2013 Photo Essay Documenting the March on Washington is Subject of Book Discussion

Georgetown’s Michael Eric Dyson and Photographer’s Widow Are Part of Program

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

Leonard Freed (1929–2006) was a pioneer in the genre of socially conscious photojournalism. His photographs are represented in many public and private collections, and his book “Black in White America,” published in 1967-68, was the result of his travels with Martin Luther King Jr. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, Freed’s photo essay “This Is the Day: The March on Washington” (Getty Publications, 2013) has just been released.

Georgetown sociology professor and author Michael Eric Dyson, who has written as essay for the book; Paul Farber, a scholar of popular and visual culture, who has written the afterword; and Brigitte Freed, Leonard Freed’s widow, who compiled this book from her late husband’s archive, will discuss and sign their book on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at noon in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is co-sponsored by the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book and its Prints and Photographs Division. The talk is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Never before published in book form, the 75 photographs in this volume were chosen from among the hundreds of images that Freed made in the nation’s capital before, during and after the march. These images not only present stunning wide-angle views of hundreds of thousands of marchers overflowing the National Mall but also focus on small groups of people and on individual faces. In addition, 18 images from the 20th anniversary march of August 1983 are included.

Accompanying the photographs are a firsthand, backstage account of the preparations leading up to the march by social activist and civil rights leader Julian Bond; an essay on the importance of the march and King’s involvement by Dyson; and an informative discussion of Freed’s approach to the photographic project by scholar Farber.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 151 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.


PR 13-006
ISSN 0731-3527