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Officials of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference---the Reverend James Bevel, the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, and Bernard LaFayette---discuss strategy for the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, April 18, 1968
Vintage wire photograph on paper
6 1/2 x 8 in. (16.51 x 20.32 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams
Accession Number: P2021.9.64

SCLC Strategy Meeting: The officials of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Reverend James Bevel, the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, successor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Bernard LaFayette, left to right, discuss strategy for the SCLC's planned Poor People's Campaign in Washington. Abernathy said today in Atlanta that the campaign will start April 29 and that it would be conducted just as King had planned it.

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.

James Luther Bevel (October 19, 1936 – December 19, 2008) was a minister and a leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. As the Director of Direct Action and of Nonviolent Education of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), he initiated, strategized, directed, and developed SCLC's three major successes of the era: the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade; the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement; and the 1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement. He suggested that SCLC call for and join a March on Washington in 1963. Bevel strategized the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches, which contributed to Congressional passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Bernard LaFayette (born July 29, 1940) is a long-time Civil Rights activist and organizer, who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He played a leading role in the organizing of the Selma Voting Rights Movement, He was a member of the Nashville Student Movement, and throughout the 1960s he worked closely with groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the American Friends Service Committee.

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

On verso: Typewritten at top right edge, "ABERNATHY, RALPH (REV) (SCLC)". Stamped in blue ink near center: "APR 21 1968". Handwritten in graphite at bottom left edge: "CVL-PPC-153 2500".

Sheet: 8 1/8 x 10

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 1/2 x 8 in. (16.51 x 20.32 cm)

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