Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This Is the Day: The March on Washington

Author/Photographer: Leonard Freed
Publisher: Getty Publications

This Is the Day: The March on Washington is a  photo-essay by photographer Leonard Freed documenting the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of August 28, 1963, the historic day on which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. This book commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the historic march that ultimately led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The black and white photos in this book are so powerful that they don't need text. It shows the waiting, the crowds gathering, the mix of Americans that were there on August 28, and finally the rubble of  a crowd of thousands who came and then suddenly left on their buses, leaving the pamphlets and other human rubbish behind. 

Freed photographed from the grounds, walking amongst the people who came to listen. It's an odd way to write about oneself, but I love the sentence that say:
He photographs the rainbow of blackness that floats above prescribed definitions of beauty and intelligence. 

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