In the summer of 62, Univ. of Chicago student Linda Perlstein returned to campus with news that she had been arrested in Cairo Illinois, as part of the movement. It was about 400 miles south, and as my Triumph 650cc motorcycle had broken down I was bored out of my skull. Linda gave me contacts, and I set off on old Route 66 wanting to copy Kerouak's epic journey. Getting off in Cairo (by bus, as I had only reached East St Louis by hitching), I stepped into the hornets nest of the Movement.
I met young John Lewis, who with $10 in expense money had been sent from Atlanta to Cairo as the SNCC field worker. ... It was the first of four trips into the Deep South to cover the work of SNCC. But when one winter day on campus, a friend said there was a sit in at the Ad building of the University of Chicago, I went there to take pictures.
These pictures I made in the winter of 1962/63 of the CORE sit in at the University of Chicago Ad building, have become very controversial. In addition to my commitment to SNCC and my trips deep into the south, I was also "the campus photographer", working for the paper The Maroon, and the photo editor of the year book, The Cap and Gown. In that capacity my friend from CORE, Robert McNamara asked me to come with him to see the first student sit-in to take place in the north.
Bernie Sanders was speaking and I made pictures of him speaking, then close ups of the future presidential candidate as he huddled with CORE leadership. Incredibly, the Washington Post, Time and Chris Mathews [of MSNBC] have [recently] run stories that my pictures are not of Bernie, and John Lewis has attacked Bernie's early commitment to the Movement as a way of supporting Hillary. Alas. I think the pictures show it as it was, a young committed man, as I was, as John was, as we all were.
Bernie BLOG links:
Bernie Sanders Leads 1963 Sit-in
More Bernie Civil Rights Photos Found!
Copyright © Danny Lyon, 2016
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