Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement

Danny Lyon, Author, Julian Bond, Foreword by
Danny Lyon, Author, Julian Bond, Foreword by University of North Carolina Press $49.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8078-2054-4
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-8078-4386-4
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Lyon, a young Jewish New Yorker, joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1962 as a photographer. The 212 black-and-white photographs shown here, taken from 1962 to 1965, document that short-lived, influential civil rights organization before it was undone by assassinations, the rise of the antiwar movement and the SNCC's espousal of black militancy. Lyon's images of cafeteria sit-ins and street demonstrations, showing sanguine, missionary-like protestors and furious, tight-lipped cops, are stark portraits of tension. The power of Lyon's photos is undiminished by his occasionally awkward text. Lyon debunks the myth that the 1963 march on Washington and Martin Luther King's 1965 march to Montgomery were the pivotal events of the movement; rather, they were mostly for the benefit of the media. Far more important, he writes, were the small-town skirmishes arising from the local Southern movement. Lyon ( The Bike riders ) also carefully describes the racial tensions within SNCC that were partially responsible for his leaving. The book is an honest, rich statement, transmitting the tumult, cross-purposes and devotion of the era. (Dec.)
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