Ferguson Images Evoke Civil Rights Era and Changing Visual PerceptionsBreaking News
tags: Ferguson, Civil Rights Era
Danny Lyon, one of the photographers whose work came to define the civil rights upheaval in the South in the 1960s, said he was struck on Thursday when he saw a news image from the racially torn suburb of Ferguson, Mo., showing four police officers arrayed in a phalanx.
In part, it was because Mr. Lyon had taken a picture in 1963 in Birmingham, Ala., that looked very much like it: four officers standing in front of a police car with rifles and helmets, in a city where highly publicized clashes between protesters and the police helped turn the tide of public opinion toward the civil rights movement. But the image from Ferguson, for all its formal similarities, could not have been more different. Today’s riot police officers were wearing military-style camouflage and carrying military-style rifles, their heads and faces obscured by black helmets and gas masks as they stood in front of an armored vehicle.
“It didn’t look like America. It looked like Soweto,” Mr. Lyon said, referring to the South African township that was a hotbed of protests against apartheid. “It looked like soldiers. And soldiers’ job isn’t to protect. Their job is to kill people and to be ready to die.”
comments powered by Disqus
- The Daily Mail is highlighting claims by a Cambridge don that teachers are helping to foster resentment by presenting history as the struggle of minority groups
- Historians Are Calling Out Trump Online Whenever He Misreads the Past
- Linda Gordon’s new book captures how white supremacy has long been part of our political mainstream
- Yale Civil Rights history course is a "call to action" and a chance "to be woke”
- Gil Troy back’s Trump decision on Jerusalem