Unseen. Unforgotten.
February 27, 2006 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Unseen. Unforgotten. The Birmingham News recently discovered previously-unpublished photos of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama, during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The site includes audio interviews with some of the photographers and a PDF of how the photos appeared in the newspaper.
posted by kirkaracha (13 comments total)
This looks great, kirkaracha - I can't wait to dig in. But I think they may be getting slammed. I was able to get on the site, but the exhibits are very sluggish - at least for me. I will come back later, but wanted to say thanks.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:44 AM on February 27, 2006

Thanks for posting this. I'm making a power point presentation on the Civil Rights movement for one of my education classes and I can really use these photos and audio clips.
posted by handshake at 12:14 PM on February 27, 2006

Neat post.
posted by bardic at 12:52 PM on February 27, 2006

It's breathtaking to realize that this was so recent.
posted by raedyn at 1:04 PM on February 27, 2006

Good post. It's a bit distressing to see more comments in the double thread.
posted by OmieWise at 1:18 PM on February 27, 2006

Superb post!
posted by LarryC at 1:39 PM on February 27, 2006

very nice. thanks for the post.
i second what raedyn said.
posted by Hesychia at 1:48 PM on February 27, 2006

Not to derail, but anyone notice a similarity between the guy in this pic and this guy?
posted by furtive at 2:00 PM on February 27, 2006

This is major major stuff. Thanks!

Looking at these pictures I feel a mix of emotions: hatred at the stupidity of racism and bigotry; anger at the injustice of it all - especially the role that "law enforcement" played; admiration for those who fought the good fight in the face of persecution, prosecution, harassment, beatings, terrorism and even death; frustration that the vast majority today are so apathetic or demoralized that they are incapable of doing even 1% of what those fighting for civil rights accomplished (peacefully) less than a half-century ago.
posted by spock at 2:14 PM on February 27, 2006

Great find. Aside from the obvious emotions I am always amazed by how damn good looking and stylish everyone was back then.
posted by srboisvert at 2:17 PM on February 27, 2006

srboisvert, it's the black and white photography. With black and white photography, horn rimmed glasses, and a name like Autherine you can't help but be fierce.

Seriously though, this is was amazing to look at. It really makes me value the rights I have when I see what people went through to get them for me. I can only be eternally grateful and do my best to guard them vigilantly.

It also reminds me of how paltry the Black History Month lessons we did in K-12 were. There weren't gritty photos like these and an emphasis on the role that all of these individuals played. It's more of a memorization of the Black pantheon (sojourner truth, harriet tubman, benjamin banneker, dr. king)

I would like to see the role of individual responsibility and action in fighting for rights played up more with those people used as models for the potential impact. Seeing things like this is empowering. It makes me not afraid to speak up when I see that these people did it in far more adverse circumstances.
posted by eisbaer at 3:08 PM on February 27, 2006

Terrific post.
posted by sellout at 4:15 PM on February 27, 2006

This was especially topical for me because I'm reading Taylor Branch's excellent Parting the Waters, and I'm right in the middle of the Birmingham stuff. The courage and determination they had is amazing.

The other day I was reading the book on the BART train, and a black guy sat next to me. I was really struck by the realization that sitting in the same part of the car would have been illegal within my lifetime.

We've made a lot of progress in some ways, but it's discouraging when churches are being burned in Alabama.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:02 PM on February 27, 2006

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