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Lou Krasky

Mrs. Juanita Abernathy, wife of Reverend Ralph Abernathy, speaks about her jailed husband's hunger strike, June 23, 1969
Vintage wire photograph on paper
6 5/8 x 8 7/8 in. (16.83 x 22.54 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of Eric Alterman
Accession Number: P2021.21.15

Mrs. Juanita Abernathy at Press Conference: Mrs. Juanita Abernathy, wife of Reverend Ralph Abernathy, speaks at a news conference In Charleston, South Carolina. She tells of a hunger strike by her jailed husband. Mrs. Abernathy is with two of their children, Donzaleigh (left) and Juandalynn.

Juanita Abernathy participated in all of the pivotal protests of the Civil Rights Era. In Montgomery, Alabama, as her husband Reverend Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, she helped rally the black community. In January 1957, Juanita Abernathy and her infant daughter miraculously survived the bombing of their home by white supremacists. Abernathy worked to spur school desegregation in Atlanta by enrolling her children in independent white schools. She accompanied her husband to the 1963 March on Washington and walked with him on the frontlines of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. In 1966, Abernathy and her husband, along with Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta, lived in a Chicago slum to protest housing conditions for black Americans. In recent years, Juanita Abernathy has traveled the world speaking about her experiences and her late husband's leadership role, and urging others to continue the fight for justice and equality.

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

Associated Press ID # 6906230252.

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

Sheet: 8 x 9 7/8

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 5/8 x 8 7/8 in. (16.83 x 22.54 cm)

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