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Unknown Photographer

Poor People's March Beings in Memphis, with Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Reverend A.D. King, and Hosea Williams, May 2, 1968
Vintage wire photograph on paper
6 13/16 x 8 11/16 in. (17.3 x 22.07 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams
Accession Number: P2021.9.63

Poor People's March Beings in Memphis: Taking the reins of the mule team leading the Poor People's Campaign March through Memphis, Tennessee on Thursday are the Reverend Ralph Abernathy (left), and the Reverend A.D. King. Behind them, Southern Christian Leadership Conference organizer Hosea Williams holds a small child as he stands in the farm wagon being drawn by the mules.

Ralph Abernathy (1926-1990) was a Baptist minister who, with Martin Luther King Jr., organized the historic Montgomery Bus Boycotts. He co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was a major Civil Rights figure, serving as close adviser to King and later assuming the SCLC presidency.

Hosea Williams (1926-2000) was an American Civil Rights leader, activist, ordained minister, businessman, philanthropist, scientist, and politician. He may be best known as a trusted member of Martin Luther King Jr.'s inner circle. Under the banner of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, King depended on Williams to organize and stir masses of people to nonviolent direct action. In many protest campaigns they worked against racial, political, economic, and social injustice.

Alfred Daniel Williams “A. D.” King (1930-1969) was the younger brother of Martin Luther King Jr., the famed leader of the Civil Rights Movement. The younger King was a Baptist minister and a Civil Rights activist.

Donated to the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College by Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg on June 2, 2021.

Associated Press ID # 6805021109.

On verso: date stamp and newspaper caption affixed.

Sheet: 8 x 9 7/16

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 8 11/16 in. (17.3 x 22.07 cm)

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