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James Bourdier (aka Jim Bourdier)

(Opelousas, LA, February 28, 1929 - November 22, 1987, Atlanta, GA)

James H. Meredith with his parents in Kosciusko, showing off graduation cuff links, August 18, 1963
Vintage wire photograph on paper
5 5/8 x 7 15/16 in. (14.29 x 20.16 cm)

Creation Place: North America, American
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of Eric Alterman
Accession Number: P2021.21.28

Commentary
Graduation Gift: James H. Meredith poses with his parents at their home in Kosciusko today and shows off cuff links that were their graduation present to him. He stopped at their home for lunch enroute to Oxford, where he is scheduled to become first black student in the history of Ole Miss to receive a diploma. Graduation ceremonies will be held in the grove this afternoon.

James Howard Meredith (born June 25, 1933) is a trailblazer in the Civil Rights movement. In 1962, he became the first black American student admitted to the University of Mississippi, following an intense legal battle in the federal courts. In 1966, Meredith planned a solo 220-mile March Against Fear from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi to highlight continuing racism in the South and to encourage voter registration after passage of the Voting Rights Act. On the second day, he was shot by a white gunman and suffered numerous wounds. Leaders of major organizations vowed to complete the march in his name after he was taken to the hospital. During his recovery, more people from across the country became involved as marchers. Meredith rejoined the march, and when he and other leaders entered Jackson on June 26, they were leading an estimated 15,000 marchers in what was the largest civil rights march in Mississippi.

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

Provenance
Donated to the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College by Eric Alterman on December 16, 2021.

Dimensions
Sheet: 6 1/2 x 8 7/16

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: 5 5/8 x 7 15/16 in. (14.29 x 20.16 cm)


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