This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement

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Saturday, September 21, 2013 - Saturday, January 18, 2014

This exhibit presents the work of nine photographers from diverse backgrounds that in the 1960's lived and photographed from within the Southern Freedom Movement. They were "movement photographers," decidedly distinct from news photographers, and their images reflect that difference. Seven photographed for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the only civil rights organization with its own photogrpahy department. The other two photographed for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

SNCC emerged from student protest that erupted on February 1, 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina when four black students refused to leave a Woolworth department store lunch counter after being denied service. This grassroots approach to organizing has been captured in this exhibit. These are photographs from inside the movement and from the bottom up. They portray community life as well as protest.

Although this exhibit mainly focuses on SNCC's work and on the battleground states of Mississippi and Alabama during the years 1963-1966, these photographs shine a light that reveals the inner life of the whole southern freedom struggle.

Organized by the Center for Documentary Expression & Art.


This Light of Ours Audio Tour via Guide by Cell

Adult Audio Tour narrated by Julian Bond
Call 540.204.9221
Stops 100-126, followed by the pound (#) key

Example: 106# (Church)

Example: 119# (Flag and Freedom Song)


Childrens Audio Tour narrated by Shona Tucker
Call 540.204.9221
Stops 1-29, followed by the pound (#) key.

Example 7# (Church)

Example 23# (The Flag)