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Gene Herrick

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Gene Herrick

(c. 1927 – )

Three black boys walked past a group of white girls on their way to classes at newly-integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee, August 31, 1956
Vintage wire photograph on paper
6 13/16 x 9 3/8 in. (17.3 x 23.81 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: P2021.13.825

Going to Class: Three unidentified black boys walked past a group of white girls today on their way to classes at newly-integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee. The school has been the scene of violence in the past two days because of integration.

The Court-ordered desegregation of Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee, preceded that of Little Rock's Central High School by a year and garnered international attention. After the segregationist agitators John Kasper and Asa Carter whipped the town's white citizens into a fervor, Governor Clement was forced to call in the National Guard to occupy the town during September 1956. They restored public order and ensured the safety of the intrepid black students known as the "Clinton Twelve". Kasper was jailed for contempt of court. On October 5, 1958, the school was destroyed by a bomb. It would take until 1965 for the other public schools in Clinton to integrate.

On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: manuscript title, Associated Press stamp and date stamps.

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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  • Image Dimensions: 6 13/16 x 9 3/8 in. (17.3 x 23.81 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 7 1/8 x 9 13/16 in. (18.1 x 24.92 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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