This Light of Ours

Activist Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement

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This Light of Ours: Activist Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement tells a visual story of the struggle against segregation, race-based disenfranchisement, and Jim Crow laws in the 1960s.

This Light of Ours captures the day-to-day struggles of everyday citizens working toward equality and their resolve in the face of violence and institutionalized discrimination.

More than 150 powerful black-and-white photos focus on the activities of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and are organized around four themes – Black Life, Organizing for Freedom, State and Local Terror, and Meredith March Against Fear and Black Power. The photographs convey SNCC’s distinctive “bottom-up” community organizing strategy as well as the movement’s impact on the national consciousness and use of photos to present critical messages.

Visitors to This Light of Ours will see the efforts of unsung heroes in the civil rights movement through the photographs of activist photographers. These nine men and women were themselves a part of the movement and focused their cameras on the local people and student activists who together made it happen.

This superb collection will evoke powerful memories among those who lived through those turbulent times, while introducing a new generation to the courage and tenacity of local people determined to take charge of their destiny. John Dittmer, author of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi

This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement is presented by the Center for Documentary Expression and Art and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Sponsored by The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall Fund.