Abstract

Abstract:

This essay explores lesser known acts of resistance and violence in the American South during the Civil Rights Movement. To understand an expanded history outside of a dominant and constricted telling of the movement, I had to understand the context in which these stories played out. Along with making photographs, I constructed this account by visiting sites that held histories of both racist violence and resistance to it, and by assembling archival material from microfiche at local libraries, files at the Southern Poverty Law Center, ephemera kept by family members, and reports gathered by journalists. I interviewed family members who lost loved ones to racist violence, journalists who reported on these events at the time, and those investigating cold cases now. This essay takes the reader on a journey through the southern landscape and reframes ordinary rivers, fields, and homes as markers of struggle. This work is meant to be a memorial that will prompt readers to understand more about these histories, and the legacies of power inscribed in the landscape. The act of marking these sites of injustice in America, of loss of life to racial terror, binds us all. The violence must be named and the systematic elements of that violence must be acknowledged if we are to confront how these legacies persist today and work against them.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 32-55
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-10
Open Access
No
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