March 19, 2010 Last Updated 7:30 pm

Photoblogging Friday – 11

It’s Friday and Photoblogging Friday this week will be dedicated to Charles Moore, the great civil rights era photographer who died earlier this week.  The photography of Charles Moore was often featured in the pages of Life magazine in the 1960s and are familiar to many. Yet the man himself was not a celebrity.  I am certainly happy to see that many newspapers, and NPR have seen fit to remember him at the time of his death.
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☜  1963: Demonstrators try and avoid water cannon in Birmingham.
Charles Moore/Courtesy of Black Star



“I fight with my camera. I don’t want to fight with my fists. I want to fight with my camera,” Moore is heard saying in the NPR story that can be heard in full here.

Moore grew up in Alabama, the son of a Baptist minister (read full New York Times obituary here) who preached against racism.  Moore himself, as a photo journalist, tried to get the story, but not get arrested telling the New Orleans Times-Picayune “I’d let people trip me, jostle me, pull my hair and threaten to smash my camera.”
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1958: Dr. Martin Luther King  ☞
is arrested by Montgomery police.
Charles Moore/Courtesy of Black Star


Moore’s first professional work was for the Montgomery Advertiser, but in 1962 he became a freelance photographer and worked for the Black Star agency. Later he went to cover the Vietnam War. Finally he decided to focus on nature, fashion and travel photography.

Claire O’Neill of NPR quotes University of Florida photography Professor John Kaplan: “Everybody in America had seen those pictures and yet, you know, when I met Moore and we just started chit-chatting, I realized there was so much behind the power of the images themselves – you know, how they were made, how he got access. Really has incredible courage. He was really, one of the unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.”

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