Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 Birmingham Campaign as Image Event
Abstract

Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 Birmingham campaign was an exercise in cross-racial vision. Using what Kevin DeLuca has defined as the "image event" as a mode of public address, King targeted the conscience of white moderates by making visible the reality of racial injustice. Through a close analysis of both Charles Moore's Life photographs of fire hoses and police dogs turned against black demonstrators and the effects of their international circulation, I argue that rhetorical critics cannot account for King's success in arousing the conscience of white moderates through an examination of his oral and written address alone; they must take into account King's mastery of visual communication.