Photography on the Front Lines
Whether rooted in social equality or politically charged, non-violent demonstrations are a necessary element in demanding nation-wide change. Participants sympathetic to the cause were called to the frontlines to amplify the voices of their unheard brothers and sisters when conditions verged on unbearable. One can see in these images that many were unafraid of the consequences that came with both figuratively and literally standing in the way of the oppressor.
Photographers captured moments of heroism on the frontlines of protest. Viewers at home connected with the emotion and dedication that ran through the veins of the participants of the movement. These photos show more than just the dedication these individuals had to a cause. They show hurt, confusion, and the willingness to stand up—all traits that prove extremely hard to maintain. Their fight is emotionally and physically demanding. Yet, activists persisted with those who felt the pain of the oppressed standing alongside.
"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."
Anonymous/ International News Photo
Singing "freedom songs" under police guard, hundreds of schoolchildren march down the middle of the street toward a detention compund after their mass arrest in front of the Dallas County courthouse, Selma, Alabama
February 3, 1965
Beginning in March of 1965, between 2,000 and 3,000 marchers began their 54-mile hike from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to fight for the right for the Black vote in America. After crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, marchers were met by Alabama state troopers who blocked their path, beat protestors with whips and batons, and sprayed them with tear gas.
The Selma to Montgomery Marches: marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on "Bloody Sunday," Selma
March 22, 1965