On Wednesday, 7th October at 7:00 pm, the Boxser Diversity Initiative in cooperation with the Florida Holocaust Museum is hosting a lecture at Temple Beth Sholom by Leslie Kelen, the son of Holocaust Survivors and Executive Director of the Center for Documentary Expression and Art, who oversaw the creation of This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement. His subject will be “Unchartered Waters, Jews in the Civil Rights Movement.”
He is the author of several books, including Faces and Voices of Refugee Youth; Streaked with Light and Shadow: Portraits of Former Soviet Jews in Utah; and Missing Stories: An Oral History of Ethnic and Minority Groups in Utah. Julian , Washington, D.C., was chairman of the NAACP from 1998 to 2010 and was SNCC’s communications director.
This Light of Ours presents the Southern Freedom Movement through the visions and voices of eight men and one woman who lived and worked in the South between 1963 and 1967. Unlike images produced by photojournalists, who covered breaking news events, these nine photographers lived within the movement—primarily within the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) framework—and documented its activities by focusing on the local people and student activists who together made it happen. The 150+ photographs by Bob Adelman, George Ballis, Bob Fitch, Bob Fletcher, Matt Herron, David Prince, Herbert Randall, Maria Varela, and Tamio Wakayama convey SNCC’s organizational strategies and development, resolve in the face of violence, impact on the nation’s politics, and influence of the nation’s consciousness. This Light of Ours expands public understanding of the Civil Rights Movement by presenting the actions and achievements of young organizers and “ordinary” people who fashioned a movement that changed America.
This Light of Ours was organized by the Center for Documentary Expression and Art. Major support for the exhibition has been provided by the Bruce W. Bastian Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The exhibition is comprised of 157 black and white photographs, the majority of which were taken in Mississippi and Alabama between 1963 and 1966.