Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein
This exhibit features the stunning and historic photographs of Stephen Somerstein, documenting the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March in March 1965. Somerstein was a student in City College of New York’s night school and Picture Editor of his student newspaper when he traveled to Alabama to document the March.
He joined the marchers and gained unfettered access to everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Rosa Parks, James Baldwin, and Bayard Rustin. “I had five cameras slung around my neck,” he recalled. Over the five-day, 54-mile march, Somerstein took about four hundred photographs including poignant images of hopeful blacks lining the rural roads as they cheered on the marchers walking past their front porches and whites crowded on city sidewalks, some looking on silently-others jeering as the activists walked to the Alabama capital. Somerstein sold a few photographs to The New York Times Magazine, Public Television and photography collectors, but none were exhibited until 2010, when he participated in a civil rights exhibition at the San Francisco Art Exchange.
Rather than choosing photography as a career, Somerstein became a physicist and worked at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and at Lockheed Martin Company. It was only after his retirement in 2008 that he returned to his photography remarking that he wanted “to have exhibitions of my work and that I realized that I had numerous iconic as well as historic photographs.” Among those photographs were his moving photographs of that memorable march to Montgomery in 1965.
Support for this exhibition is provided by Bank of America and the Henry Nias Foundation.
Forbes: Museum Exhibitions Look Back At 1965 Civil Rights March From Selma to Montgomery, Alabama
The Seattle Times: Youngest participant in 1965 Selma march describes the day
TimesofMalta.com:Iconic images of history
Myfoxny.com: Youngest participant in 1965 Selma march speaks out
WRCBtv.com: Youngest participant in 1965 Selma march describes the day
DNAinfo: Rare Images from the Civil Rights Movement on View at N-Y Historical Society
The New York Times: A Long March Into History
The Art Newspaper: Photographer who documented Martin Luther King’s march to freedom speaks in New York
NewYork.com: On View: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March at the New-York Historical Society
Reuters: Photo exhibit celebrates 50th anniversary of civil rights march
DailyMail.com: ‘Freedom Journey’ photo exhibit recalls 1965 civil rights march
Newsday: NY-Historical Society exhibit of photos from the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery
WABC-TV NEW YORK: New-York Historical Society Presents Selma March Photo Exhibit