An exhibition bringing the work of revered Memphis-born photographer, Ernest C. Withers, to Miami is on view for one final week. Over 40 original photographs documenting six decades of African American history are currently on display at the The Arts and Recreation Center in Opa-locka, as part of “Flash Points: The Photography of Ernest C. Withers.”
Presented by Ten North Group, formerly Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation, the exhibit showcases a collection of moving snapshots from before, after and during the Civil Rights Movement in the South. Withers is often considered “the original Civil Rights photographer,” documenting and shaping the visual narrative of the era. Oftentimes, he was the only photographer to record these scenes since they were ignored by the mainstream press.
He formed personal and complex relationships with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Andrew Young and Mamie Till-Mobley, and his coverage of the Emmett Till murder trial brought national attention to the racist violence taking place during the 1950s in Mississippi, among other places.
Photographs taken during the trial, as well as Dr. King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy riding on one of Montgomery’s first desegregated buses, and many musicians are on view.
Through the lens of Withers, Flash Points strives to educate and provide the opportunity to take locals on a visual journey through American history and the Black experience. It is curated in partnership with Withers’ daughter and founder of the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery of Memphis, Tennessee, Rosalind Withers.
Flash Points runs through August 31st at The ARC, located at 675 Ali Baba Ave, Opa-Locka, FL 33054. The gallery is open to the public. Learn more about it here.