Historic images part of upcoming display

Published 12:50 am Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Selma Interpretive Center will host a month-long photography exhibit beginning beginning Monday, showcasing the that helped images document the civil rights movement, and it’s leaders, in Selma in 1964 and 1965.

The “Civil Rights Leaders Then and Now” is being sponsored by the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, and will feature 30 photographs made by James “Spider” Martin, the most well-known photographers who documented the civil rights movements in Selma.

Barbara Tagger, Site Manager for the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, said the main purpose of the exhibit is to use the documentary photographs of Martin and Purvis to remind a modern audience of the hard work that went into the civil rights movements’ success in Selma.

“Mr. Martin had a large collection of black and white photographs that has been used of the years to remind people of the importance of the voting rights march and the civil rights movement in general,” Tagger said. “The exhibit will focus on the people who took part in this movement.”

Tagger said the photographs in the exhibit will highlight the works of Civil Rights leaders Amelia Boynton Robinson, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and feature both historic photographs Martin made of them in the 1960’s, along with more recent photos of those who are still living made by photographer Johnathan Purvis.

“The collection highlights not only the Selma-to-Montgomery March, but also the incidents that occurred in Birmingham in 1964, as well as other incidents that took place during the movement throughout the state and the region,” Tagger said.

Theresa Hall, Park Ranger at the Selma Interpretive Center, said she hopes Selma residents and visitors alike will turn out to take in the rare look at such a widespread collection of historical photographs.

“Mr. Martin was one of the move highly-acclaimed photographers that was here during the voting rights movement and the March. He wasn’t obviously the only one, but he was one of the most well-respected ones here,” Hall said. “I’m excited to have the exhibit here because it gives people something different to check out during the annual bridge crossing celebration.”

Many of the photos are on loan from Tracy Martin, the daughter of James Martin.

The exhibit will be available for viewing March 3 through April 4 at the Selma Interpretive Center, located at the corner of Broad Street and Water Avenue in Selma.

For more information, contact Hall at 872-0509, or find it online at www.nps.gov/semo.