Liberal Arts Blog —Photography (VIII): Rosa Parks (1956), Ruby Bridges (1960), Martin Luther King (1963)

Liberal Arts Blog — Friday is the Joy of Art, Architecture, Film, Design, and All Things Visual Day

Today’s Topic: Photography (VIII): Rosa Parks (1956), Ruby Bridges (1960), Martin Luther King (1963)

There are many unforgettable photographs from the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. For example, Bill Hudson’s May, 1963 photo of a black high school student being attacked by a German shepherd police dog. Or the shots of high pressure water from fire hoses hitting the backs of non-violent protestors in Birmingham in the same year. Or the “Soiling of Old Glory” taken during the Boston busing crisis of 1976 in which a white teenager attacks a black civil rights lawyer with an American flag. Today, I have chosen three non-violent photographs that capture three milestones. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

RUBY BRIDGES ESCORTED TO AND FROM SCHOOL BY FEDERAL MARSHALS -1960

1. The South resisted the desegregation of schools ordered by the US Supreme Court in 1954. Five years later, Louisiana schools were still segregated.

2. On November 14, 1960, Federal Judge J. Skelly Wright ordered the desegregation of public schools in New Orleans.

3. Ruby Bridges, aged 6, was escorted to the all-white Plantz elementary school by four federal marshals.

NB: The moment was immortalized by Norman Rockwell by his painting, “The Problem We All Live With” (1964) which President Obama had hung outside his office in the White House in 2011. It is now in the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Worth the trip. (If you don’t know it, take a close look in the second link below.)

Ruby Bridges

The Problem We All Live With

ROSA PARKS ON THE BUS AFTER HER ARREST AND SUPREME COURT VICTORY — 1956

1. “All I was doing was trying to get home from work.”

2. “I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.”

3. “Our mistreatment was just not right and I was tired of it.”

NB: On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. She was arrested. The Montgomery Bus Boycott followed. The US District Court for Middle Alabama declared the bus segregation unconstitutional on June 6, 1956. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision on November 13, 1956. (Don’t miss the mug shot in the link below.)

Rosa Parks

“I HAVE A DREAM” — MARTIN LUTHER KING, AUGUST 28, 1963

1. “We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.”

2. “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all God’s children.”

3. “I have a dream that one day my four little children will live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

NB: “When we allow freedom to ring — when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual ”Free at last, Free at last, Great God Almighty we’re free at last.” (Don’t miss the shot of the crowd in the link below.)

I Have a Dream

MORE BACKGROUND

Bill Hudson (photographer)

The Soiling of Old Glory

Birmingham campaign

Browder v. Gayle

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned recently or ever related to art, sculpture, design, architecture, film, or anything visual.

Perhaps a favorite painting, sculpture, film, building, or a technique of drawing, sculpting, design, film-making.

This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to cement in your own memory something cool or important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that is close to your heart.

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