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Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement

Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement

On display now!

"Lyon was the Robert Capa of the Movement. Many of his pictures remain the stock images of the period.....In "Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement," there are not only the famous pictures but Lyon's text, including many important documents......Much of their outstanding achievement has been forgotten. Perhaps Danny Lyon's fine book can help to bring their accomplishment into the mainstream history of the 1960's."

- Joseph Schwartz, London Times Literary Supplement, March 1993

A giant of post-War documentary photography and film, Brooklyn, NY native Danny Lyon helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter. A self-taught photographer and a graduate of the University of Chicago, Lyon began his photographic career in the early 1960s as the first staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a national group of college students who joined together after the first sit-in by four African American college students at a North Carolina lunch counter. From 1963 to 1964, Lyon traveled the South and Mid-Atlantic regions documenting the Civil Rights Movement.  The photographs were published in The Movement, a documentary book about the Southern Civil Rights Movement, and later in Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, Lyon’s own memoir of his years working for the SNCC.

From the back cover of the book:

In the summer of 1962, Danny Lyon packed a Nikon Reflex and an old Leica in an army bag and hitchhiked south. Within a week he was in jail in Albany, Georgia, looking through the bars at another prisoner, Martin Luther King, Jr. Lyon soon became the first staff photographer for the Atlanta-based Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which already had a reputation as one of the most committed and confrontational groups fighting for civil rights.

"This young white New Yorker came South with a camera and a keen eye for history. And he used these simple, elegant gifts to capture the story of one of the most inspiring periods in America’s twentieth century."
- US Congressman, John Lewis

Dates: May 18—September 6, 2019

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