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Ernest Withers, who documented America’s segregated South and the civil rights movement, has died at age 85. The New York Times has a full obit. Withers died on Monday in Memphis, a city in which he made many of his most famous pictures. It was in Memphis in 1968 that Withers photographed the last March led by Dr. Martin Luther King, a strike action by Memphis’s sanitation workers. Withers shot a group of the workers holding signs that said, “I Am A Man.”
Withers also covered the trial of the men accused of killing Emmitt Till, the funeral of Medgar Evers, and other historic moments during the civil rights movements.
Elsewhere in Memphis, Withers photographed the vibrant Beale Street music scene, making portraits of musicians such as B.B. King, Issac Hayes, Ray Charles, and Elvis Presley.
–David Schonauer