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Murder defendant Joan Little leaves the courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina today carrying a copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird"

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Harold Valentine



Murder defendant Joan Little leaves the courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina today carrying a copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird", August 1975
Vintage wire photograph on paper
9 1/2 x 6 15/16 in. (24.13 x 17.62 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.762

Commentary
Joan Little with Book On Racial Injustice: murder defendant Joan Little leaves the courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina today carrying a copy of the book "To Kill a Mockingbird," which deals with racial injustice in the South. The charge against Miss Little was reduced today from first degree murder, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Joan Little (pronounced "Jo Ann") (born 1953) is a black woman charged for the 1974 murder of Clarence Alligood, a white prison guard at Beaufort County Jail in Washington, North Carolina. Little's trial made her a cause célèbre of the Civil Rights, Feminist, and Anti-death Penalty Movements. She was the first woman in United States history to be acquitted using the defense that she used deadly force to resist sexual assault. Her case has become classic in legal circles as a pioneering instance of the application of scientific jury selection.

Marks
On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: date stamp.

Materials
Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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Dimensions
  • Image Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 6 15/16 in. (24.13 x 17.62 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 10 1/16 x 8 in. (25.56 x 20.32 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen


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