Please join us for UC Berkeley professor, Leigh Raiford’s lecture “Civil Rights Movement Photography and Its Legacies” at 4 pm on Monday, February 18 in the Library Classroom.
In Fall 2010, just as it was announced that a museum would open to celebrate the life and work of famed civil rights movement photographer, Ernest C. Withers, revelations surfaced that Withers had worked from at least 1968 to 1970 as a paid FBI informant. The debates that ensued among civil rights activists, historians, journalists, photography buffs, pundits, bloggers and everyday folk about Withers’ guilt or innocence revealed continuing anxieties about black heritage, the legacies and memory of the civil rights movement, and the darker side of a movement we have enfolded into our popular culture as the apex of America’s efforts to better itself. It also brought to the surface concerns about artistic intent and aesthetic value. This talk explores what role photography–as document, as art, and as surveillance–played in the modern civil rights movement and how the medium continues to shape our memories of the “Second Reconstruction.”
Dr. Leigh Raiford is Associate Professor of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. She also serves as affiliate faculty in American Studies, and Gender & Women’s Studies. Dr. Leigh Raiford received her BA from Wesleyan University, her PhD from Yale University, and was the Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies.