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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Stars and Stripes and Civil Rights

Photo of 1965 civil rights march Selma to Montgomery. Protesters carry two American flags and wave at a passing plane covering the march. Photo by Matt Herron.jpg
Selma to Montgomery march for civil rights in 1965.
Photographed by Matt Herron

Photographer Matt Herron, part of project to document the civil rights movement, was in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s where he captured images that won the World Press photo contest.
After their home had been firebombed, Anthony Quinn, five-years-old, accompanied his mother, siblings, and Dr. June Finer (a member of the Medical Committee for Human Rights), to the Mississippi Governor's office. Five senators had been elected from districts where black constituents were unable to vote.
Mrs. Aylene Quinn from McComb and her four children sit on the steps of the Governor's mansion in Jackson, Mississippi. 1965 Photo by Matt Herron
Anthony Quinn, his family, and Dr. June Finer
protesting voting suppression in Mississippi, 1965
The group had been refused admittance, and they were quietly waiting on the steps in protest. 
Anthony Quinn, five-years-old, holds an American Flag while sitting on the steps at the had Mississippi Governor's office. His mother holds a sign reading No more police brutality. 1965 Photo by Matt Herron
"No more police brutality."
Anthony Quinn photographed by Matt Herron.
The Jackson police were jailing protesters in the cattle stockades at the fairground. Earlier Dr. Finer, from the Medical Committee for Human Rights, attempted to enter the fairgrounds to provide medical assistance. She was blocked from entering and intended to get in the fairground by being arrested.
U.S. Highway patrolman Huey Krohn pulls away a small American flag from five-year-old boy Anthony Quinn during a civil rights protest. 1965. Photo by Matt Herron
Patrolman Kohler attempts to grab
Anthony Quinn's American flag
during a 1965 peaceful protest.
Mississippi Highway Patrolman Hughie Kohler was photographed confiscating the family's ‘No More Police Brutality’ sign . . .
Anthony Quinn, five-years-old, attempts to keep his small American Flag while U.S. Highway patrolman Huey Krohn grabs it out of Anthony's hand. 1965. Photo by Matt Herron
Anthony Quinn reaching for his flag.
Photographed by Matt Derron in 1965.
and photographed snatching the boy's American flag. 
Dr. June Finer holds five-years-old Anthony Quinn's hand as they are escorted by five policemen from the Mississippi Governor's office. Anthony is sobbing after a U.S. patrolman snatched an American flag his hands. 1965 photo by Matt Herron
The Quinn family and Dr. Finer
forced off the steps of the Mississippi Governor's office.

Matt Herron's photographs helped generate outrage and pressure for change. 
Anthony Quinn,  wearing a suit and a tie, photographed standing by Matt Herron, wearing an embroidered hippie jeans jacket, the the 2014 Museum exhibition commemorating Freedom Summer and featuring photos Herron took of a young Quinn.
Anthony Quinn and Matt Herron
at the 2014 exhibition commemorating Freedom Summer
 
Dr. Anthony Quinn passed away in 2015 from pancreatic cancer. He was fifty-five. 

Matt Herron paid tribute Anthony after his death.
Anthony and his sisters were the first black kids to integrate McComb public schools. He told me it seemed like he had a fist fight every day he was in school, either defending his sisters or himself. . . . 
By his first year in high school, he was facing juvenile detention - a fate his older sister saved him from by removing him to Chicago to live with her family.
The Washington Monument and a U.S. flag are reflected in the sunglasses of Austin Clinton Brown, age 9, of Gainesville, GA, as he joins others in the March on Washington on August 28, 1963
The Washington Monument and a U.S. flag
reflected in the sunglasses of Austin Clinton Brown, age 9,
March on Washington on August 28, 1963

Eventually, Anthony earned a Ph.D. in education administration and had served as a Department Head in Special Education, School Administrator at every level of K-12 education.
 
An obituary a few years earlier also referenced the photos. Patrolman Kohler's family wrote that Kohler had regretted that moment "for the rest of his life."
Sept. 4, 1963, a police officer removes a demonstrator holding a Confederate flag after a group of demonstrators protested enrollment of two African-Americans at Ramsay High School in Birmingham, Alabama.
A police officer removes a demonstrator
clinging to a Confederate flag
protesting enrollment of two African-Americans
at Ramsay High School in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963
The flags were an important symbol in the South. An American flag said very simply, "I would like the laws of the United States to be enforced in Mississippi."
If you had a Confederate flag on your pickup truck, it said, "We like things the way they are."
So people were pulled from cars and beaten on the highways in Mississippi because they had an American flag decal on their license plate frame.
Matt Herron

The Soiling of Old Glory, a Pulitzer Prize–winning photograph was taken by Stanley Forman.
Photo of an angry Joseph Rakes holding the US flag on a pole, charging Ted Landsmark who is being restrained by another man from behind. The Soiling of Old Glory, a Pulitzer Prize–winning photograph taken by Stanley Forman in 1976
Joseph Rakes attacks Ted Landsmark
Photograph by Stanley Forman
In 1976, the year of the bicentennial celebrating 200 years of American freedom, Boston was experiencing an integration busing crisis. 
Photo of Ted Landsmark, 29-year-old, Yale-educated lawyer and civil rights activist being assaulted by protestors while heading to city hall for a meeting. Photo taken by Stanley Forman in 1976
Integration protestor punching Ted Landsmark.
Part of a series of photos taken by Stanley Forman.
Ted Landsmark, a 29-year-old Yale-educated lawyer and civil rights activist was heading to city hall for a meeting.
Photo of Ted Landsmark a 29-year-old, Yale-educated lawyer and civil rights activist being thrown to the ground by integration protestors. Photo by Stanley Forman in 1976
Ted Landsmark knocked to the ground, breaking his nose.
Photograph by Stanley Forman.
Joseph Rakes, a 17-year-old from a South Boston neighborhood, had taken the family flag to the anti-integration demonstration.
Photo of attorney Ted Landsmark, accosted by several protesters in a Boston courtyard. Photograph by Stanley Forman. Part of The Soiling of Old Glory, an award winning photo taken  in 1976
Ted Landsmark, accosted by several protesters in a Boston courtyard.
Photograph by Stanley Forman.
Rakes was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment and two years probation. The jail sentence was suspended. 
Photo of a solemn looking young Black girl holding an American flag at a Civil Rights Protest March, North Carolina 1961 by photographer Declan Haun
Civil Rights Protest March, 
North Carolina, 1961 
by photographer Declan Haun

[The flag is] a symbol of what we aspire to be as a democracy. It is really an appropriate icon for all of us to look to as to what we want to be as opposed to what we sometimes have been.
Ted Landsmark

#CivilRights #AmericanFlag

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Other stories of Racism and Civil Rights:


Well Said Mr. Douglass

Mr. Douglass Has More To Say

Stars and Stripes and Civil Rights

Lugenpresse - Lying Press

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