On View in the Presentation and Transition Galleries
Adelman was there: in Birmingham, in Selma, in Washington. He was by Martin Luther King Jr.'s side, at Malcolm X's speeches and funeral, in the trenches and in the marches. He was in the Bed Stuy ghetto, on the streets of Newark during the riots, in Harlem schools, on Beale Street in Memphis, in the plantation fields and at the quilting bee in Gee's Bend, Alabama.
Growing up, Adelman knew that what was most un-American about America was its mistreatment of blacks. Stirred by the student sit-ins, he felt called to join and lend his skills as a photographer to the cause. Mine Eyes Have Seen vividly tells what life was like, why change was needed and how change was effected, sometimes in the face of violence. Adelman's commentary and reminiscences further illuminate his stunning documentary photography and portraiture in a new book published by LIFE Great Photographers, available signed at the gallery.
Charles Moore didn't plan to photograph the civil rights movement. In September, 1958, he was a 27-year-old photographer for the Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser. When an argument broke out between the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and two policemen, Moore was the only photographer on the scene. His striking pictures of Dr. King's arrest were distributed nationwide by the Associated Press, and one was published in Life magazine. A new career had begun.
Over the next seven years, Moore made some of the most significant pictures of the civil rights movement. As a contract photographer for Life magazine, Moore traveled the South to cover the evolving struggle. His photographs helped bring the reality of the situation to the magazine's huge audience, which at the time comprised over half the adults in the United States. According to former U.S. Senator Jacob Javits, Moore's pictures "helped to spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."