Faces of the Civil Rights Movement: An Exhibition of Selected Images from Danny Lyon’s time with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

Tuhin Chakraborty

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Danny Lyon
Arrest of Eddie Brown, Albany, Georgia
1962
gelatin silver print | paper
Gift of Zoe and Yuri Gurevich
Gift Offer Number: GO2019.16.17 (Accession number not known at this time)


This image follows the James Meredith picture as it clearly shows what happens when such policemen are now actively acting against protesters, and what happens when the defiance shown in previous photographs is put to the test. Here, SNCC activist Eddie Brown Jr. is being arrested and forcibly dragged away by police after refusing to leave a protest. Lyon shows Brown’s face here to be eerily similar to John Lewis’s face in the pictures of Lewis in Nashville and Cairo in that the former’s solemn expression shows no less resolve than did latter’s, even though Brown is in a completely different position than Lewis, with his agency being humiliatingly stripped away. Additionally, Lyon conspicuously chose not to include the complete faces of almost all of the officers in this photo, and the one officer whose face is entirely shown is turning away while being obscured by a shadow. That being said, Lyon intentions here were to keep the attention on the activist and not his oppressors in order use the position of SNCC photographer to convey the racial justice mission of the SNCC as clearly as possible to Lyon’s audience.

-Tuhin Chakraborty, W20 HISTORY 379


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January 30, 2021 3:06 p.m.

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