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Can We See Through Race?

The book Seeing Through Race: A Reinterpretation of Civil Rights Photography, by Martin A. Berger explores the dual role of Civil Rights Movement photojournalism in promoting and limiting the possibility of civil rights reform in the 1960s.

Berger argues that photos of civil rights protest – the unforgettable images of Bull Connor using attack dogs and fire hoses on peaceful demonstrators in Birmingham, for instance – too often told the story of the movement in terms that reduced black Southerners to one-dimensional victims.

Photos of white-on-black violence shamed Northern whites. But, those photos didn’t make them feel guilty, …

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Still Dreaming About Jobs and Freedom

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is probably best remembered today for Martin Luther King, Jr’s march address, “I Have A Dream.” That speech, along with dramatic media accounts of black struggle inspired a generation to take action, including LGBT activists, feminists, immigration reform advocates, and anti-imperialists, each of whom would also make their mark on society.

But, 50 years later, the economic demands of the marchers, including for decent housing, educational equity and school integration, full employment, and a livable national minimum wage, remain little more than dreams. Meanwhile, a growing percentage of whites believe …