Movement Photographs of Matt Herron
Jeannine and I began working in Philadelphia with CORE in 1962, organizing Woolworth pickets. In the summer of 1963 we moved to Jackson where we worked with SNCC and I pursued my career as a photojournalist. I helped Jim Forman and Norris McNamarra organize and set up the SNCC photo operation in Atlanta. In the summer of 1964 I organized a team of six photographers known as the Southern Documentary Project to photograph social change in the South. We covered events mainly in Mississippi, but also in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana. During that summer Jeannine worked in Atlanta with Julian Bond running the SNCC darkroom, which also serviced the Southern Documentary Project.
In the fall of 1964 we moved to New Orleans (we didn't want to put our two small children in Mississippi schools). In the summer of 1965 we were back in Mississippi. Jeannine was one of three founders of the Child Development Group of Mississippi (the first Headstart project in the US), and was director of the educational program.
I continued to photograph in the South until 1970 when we sailed our 31-foot sailboat, "Aquairus" from New Orleans to West Africa. We spent a year cruising down the coast from Mauritania to Ghana, spending about a month in each country and sailing up the Gambia, Casamance, and Sierra Leone rivers. Part of that voyage is documented in our book, The Voyage of Aquarius, now out of print, but usually available through Amazon.com.
During the seventies I was sailing master, bridge officer, and photographer on the first two Greenpeace anti-whaling voyages. On the second of these voyages we took the "James Bay" a 150-foot ex-Canadian minesweeper to Hawaii and then 1000 miles into the North Pacific where we had two encounters with the Russian whaling fleet. These and other Greenpeace operations eventually resulted in a ban on most commercial whaling by the International Whaling commission.
Later in the decade I was First Mate on a 150-foot North Sea fishing trawler, which the Fund for Animals took into the ice flows of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in an attempt to stop the Harp Seal hunt. I was arrested by Mounties on the ice and spent six days in jail in the Madeleine Islands. The following year nobody would bid on baby Harp Seal pelts at the Frankfurt Fur Fair, resulting in a virtual end to the killing of Harp Seals.
In the seventies, following the demise of Life, Look, and the Saturday Evening Post, my major clients, I retrained myself as a writer and spent a decade doing articles mainly for Smithsonian, The Whole Earth News and other publications. Later I started Take Stock, a stock photography agency that licenses the reuse of historical photographs. The agency represents the work of five photographers, including George Ballis, Bob Fitch and Maria Varela from civil rights days, and houses two collections: 27,000 images of civil rights, and 50,000 pictures of Cesar Chavez and the United Farms Workers - the largest such collection in the world. Visit www.takestockphotos.com to browse hundreds of civil rights photographs.
For twenty-five years Jeannine has been Director of California Neuropsychology Services and Talking Fingers Inc., companies that produce educational software for young children. Her major software, "Read Write and Type," was tested by the government's National Institutes of Child Health and Development and found to be the most effective and cost-effective software for teaching basic literacy to young children. In 2006 she launched "Wordy Querty," a program that teaches spelling and extends literacy into the higher grades. To see her work, visit www.readwritetype.com.
Personally, we are mostly happy and mostly healthy after nearly fifty years of marriage and five grandchildren. I ski in the winter and race fiberglass sailplanes in the summer. Jeannine tends two vegetable gardens, creates glass beads, and raises honeybees.