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Unknown Photographer

Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara (center), leader of a nonviolent campaign for social justice in Brazil, receives the Martin Luther King, Jr. award from SCLC President Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, August 13, 1970
Vintage wire photograph on paper
7 x 9 3/4 in. (17.78 x 24.77 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: P2021.13.100

Receives Martin Luther King Award: Archbishop Helder Camara Pessoa (center), leader of a nonviolent campaign for social justice in Brazil, receives the Martin Luther King, Jr. award from Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Reverend Ralph David Abernathy (right) as Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr. looks on. The presentation was made last night at the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

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

Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) was an American author, activist and Civil Rights leader. She was the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., and she helped lead the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. She took part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and worked to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara (1909-1999) was a Brazilian Catholic Archbishop. He was the Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, serving from 1964 to 1985, during the military regime of the country. An advocate of liberation theology, he is remembered for his social and political work for the poor and for Human Rights and democracy during the military regime. Câmara preached for a church closer to the disfavored people and for non-violence. He is quoted as having said, "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."

On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: date stamp.

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: 7 x 9 3/4 in. (17.78 x 24.77 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8 15/16 x 10 1/16 in. (22.7 x 25.56 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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