About This Exhibition
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march, the most significant of all civil rights marches and the one that led directly to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act mandated federal oversight of all US counties with a history of voter discrimination against African Americans, and opened the door to voting for most Americans.
Although Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Bunche, Rabbi Abraham Heschel and other notables led the initial 4,000 marchers out of Brown Chapel AME Church and onto Highway 80 heading to Montgomery, the March attracted Americans from all over the country and every walk of life. The sight of thousands of black and white people marching together, freely and without fear, was one most never expected to see and it changed Alabama, and the South, forever. Photographer Matt Herron captured moments of the march as the protesters traveled across the state.
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About The Artist
Matt Herron has been a photojournalist since 1962. Based in Mississippi in the early 1960s, Herron covered the Civil Rights struggle for Life, Look, Time, and Newsweek magazines and for the Saturday Evening Post. He also provided photographs and support for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1963, he founded and directed the Southern Documentary Project, a team of five photographers who attempted to document the process of social change in the South. His recent book, Mississippi Eyes, recounts the history and displays photographs from that project.
Herron’s images have appeared in virtually every major photography magazine in the world and in 1965 he won the World Press Photo Contest for a photograph of a Mississippi cop beating a five-year-old child. A graduate of Princeton, Herron’s work is in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the High Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution.