03 May 2008

Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders

A week or so ago, Eric Etheridge e-mailed to tell me that his collection of portraits of Freedom Riders is being published this month.* This is a wonderful project, about which I have posted directly [1] and indirectly [2] [3] a couple of times in the past. Eric has launched a separate blog for the Freedom Riders project here.

In his email, Eric mentioned that this is an ongoing project. He noted that that while he had managed to photograph roughly 100 of the courageous citizens who participated in the freedom rides in Jackson, Mississippi and had identified about 80 others who had died, he was still trying to locate about 140 individuals who'd taken part in the freedom rides. He hopes to solicit their participation in the project. (Some of those he has located have declined to be photographed, while Eric is trying to coordinate with still others - things take time, after all..) In any case, at this web page Eric has posted a list of individuals known to have participated in the freedom rides though Mississippi whom he has thus far been unable to locate. Have a look at his list. If you know, or think you know, or know anyone you think might know any of these people, any of the individuals on it drop Eric an email. I am certain he will appreciate any leads you can offer.

For my part, I believe Eric has undertaken an incredibly important task. He is recovering for us a set of true American heroes. Looking into the eyes of these men and women should make it just a tiny bit more difficult to sit back meekly while contemporary government officials plow under precisely the civil and political liberties that the Freedom Riders risked so much to obtain and defend.
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* Eric Etheridge. 2008. Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders. New York: Atlas & Company.

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