William Ferris presents I AM A MAN: PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, with Lyneise Williams


Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 6:00 pm (click here to register via Crowdcast)
Scroll to the bottom of this webpage to purchase titles by Dr. William Ferris.

In the American South, the civil rights movement in the 1960s and the struggle to abolish racial segregation erupted in dramatic scenes at lunch counters, in schools, and in churches. The admission of James Meredith as the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi; the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; and the sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis—where Martin Luther King was assassinated—rank as cardinal events in black Americans’ fight for their civil rights.

The photographs featured in I AM A MAN: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1960–1970 bear witness to the courage of protesters who faced unimaginable violence and brutality as well as the quiet determination of the elderly and the angry commitment of the young. Talented photographers documented that decade and captured both the bravery of civil rights workers and the violence they faced. Most notably, this book features the work of Bob Adelman, Dan Budnik, Doris Derby, Roland Freeman, Danny Lyon, Art Shay, and Ernest Withers. Like the fabled music and tales of the American South, their photographs document the region’s past, its people, and the places that shaped their lives.

Protesters in these photographs generated the mighty leverage that eventually transformed a segregated South. The years from 1960 to 1970 unleashed both hope and profound change as desegregation opened public spaces and African Americans secured their rights. The photographs in this volume reveal, as only great photography can, the pivotal moments that changed history, and yet remind us how far we have to go.

William Ferris was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1942. As he grew up on a working farm, Ferris began to document the artwork, music, and lives of the people on the farm and in his local community. The archive of recordings that he created and the documentary films that he had a hand in producing have served as powerful tools in institutions of higher learning for decades. Recently, his box set Voices of Mississippi won Grammy awards for best historical album and best album notes.

Lyneise Williams is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Latin Blackness in Parisian Visual Culture, 1852-1932. Williams is the founder and director of VERA (Visual Electronic Representations in the Archive) Collaborative, an interdisciplinary center advocating for culturally-responsible archival practices that address the significant erasures in visual, material, and historical representation disproportionately affecting communities of color. Williams presented her VERA Collaborative research at the Library of Congress, the National Park Service, The British Library, The National Archives, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and The Alan Turing Institute. VERA Collaborative is one of the founding co-partners of the Advanced Information Collaboratory (AIC), and is also partnering with the UNC Libraries, the Maryland State Archives, and the National Park Service.  

Event date: 
Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
I Am a Man: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1960-1970 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781496831620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University Press of Mississippi - February 4th, 2021

Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues (H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469628875
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - February 15th, 2016

The South in Color: A Visual Journal (H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman) Cover Image
By William Ferris, Tom Rankin (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781469629681
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - September 12th, 2016

The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469607542
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - August 5th, 2013