Cover image for The civil rights movement : a photographic history, 1954-68
The civil rights movement : a photographic history, 1954-68
Kasher, Steven.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Abbeville Press, [1996]

Physical Description:
255 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.61 .K347 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



With a striking selection of images and a lively, informative text, Steven Kasher captures the danger, drama, and bravery of the civil rights movement. After an introduction explaining the significance of photography to the movement, the text in this important book proceeds from the Montgomery bus boycott through the students, local, and national movements; the big marches; Freedom summer; Malcolm X; 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 such photographers as Richard Avedon, Danny Lyon, Charles Moore, Gordon Parks, Dan Weiner, and more than fifty others. Many of the pictures are accompanied by thought-provoking remembrances and analysis by various photographers and participants.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The civil rights movement has produced enduring images, and the famous ones are collected here: separate (and unequal) white and black water fountains, police dogs on the streets of Birmingham, Martin Luther King proclaiming "I Have a Dream," Memphis strikers with their "I Am a Man" placards. As New York City photographer Kasher observes, "No other American pictures radiate so brightly a collective passion for justice." This book, which collects some 150 black-and-white photos, is indeed a history, offering many lesser-known images that also resonate. See legendary organizer Septima Clark lead older women in a citizenship class; a bespectacled Elizabeth Eckford, one of the "Little Rock Nine," walk stoically ahead of jeering white students; Julian Bond pose with fellow SNCC volunteers, seemingly too young to help change history; and a Mississippi-delta organizing house that has painted the word Freedom on a cross burned by the Klan. Kasher's chapter introductions are lucid overviews of the movement, while the captions‘some of which reproduce the original, stilted wire-service captions‘are also effective and informative. A moving tribute. Author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The catalog for a traveling exhibition organized by New York City-based photographer, writer, and curator Kasher, this book contains images by more than 50 photographers, whose images were borrowed from photo agencies, galleries, and private collections. Ten accompanying essays break the Civil Rights movement into chronological periods. Kasher's research, writing, and photo selection are impeccable and engaging, resulting in perhaps the strongest book yet published on this topic. He pulls the reader into a narrative that recounts and analyzes events so outrageous that one who didn't live through the period might think them impossible. What remains are feelings of deep national shame and of admiration for the courageous protesters. The book ends with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Poor People's March on Washington in 1968, far short of the end of racism in this country. Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of Medgar Evers and chair of the NAACP, provides an eloquent foreword. Highly recommended for general collections and collections on photojournalism and photo-history, sociology and social history, political science, and African American history.‘Kathleen Collins, New York Transit Museum Archives, Brooklyn (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.