Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Photographer Platon and the Civil Rights Movement

The famous portraitist Platon talks to Charlie Rose in a video here about a series of incredible images he made for The New Yorker; Platon took portraits of many of the surviving figures of the the civil rights movement.

I very much connected to 3 things Platon discusses with Charlie Rose:
1. That he still gets nervous before each shoot (as I do)
2. That it's very hard to emotionally connect to the people you're photographing
3. That these inspiring civil rights figures had a profound effect on his life

Last fall I was in Memphis. And on somewhat of a whim I went to the National Civil Rights Museum located at the site of the now infamous Lorraine Motel. This is where Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered on the motel balcony.

As I toured the Museum, I became overwhelmed at the enormous sacrifices and injustices that so many in the civil rights movement endured to provide others a chance at social justice and freedom from oppression. Many were murdered...many others beaten, jailed and treated worse than animals.

This all occurred when I was baby...not that long ago. These were people born in The United States. It seems incomprehensible today.

I only managed to take two simple photos w/my iPhone...both of them were of that damn balcony.

1 comment:

don from htmlfixit.com said...

I was there just after the event occurred. My dad made it part of a trip from GR to Dallas -- I didn't totally get it then ... but the memory is with me today.