A Yale Scholar of the House with a camera in 1964 Mississippi
Monday February 2nd, 6-8 PM
In his recently published book And I Said No Lord, photographer and writer Joel Katz presents a chronicle of his travels in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964.
Listen to Joel’s travel experiences and see his haunting photographs
Monday, February 2
The Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street
Conference Room # 405
From 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm
Make your FREE reservations HERE by January 30.
You may contact Joel Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about his presentation.
Additional information for A Yale Scholar of the House with a camera in 1964 Mississippi
In June 1964, Joel Katz a Yale college student in the Scholar of the House Program boarded a Greyhound bus in Hartford, Conn. for Jackson, Mississippi. He carried few possessions – a small bag of clothes and a Pentax camera with three lenses.
A few days after his arrival, Jackson’s Daily News ran on its front page an FBI alert seeking, three volunteer field workers who had gone missing. Their work was part of a campaign seeking to combat black disenfranchisement, and the national attention it attracted would later pressure Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But the murder of the three civil rights workers underscored the deep resistance to the movement.
During 1964’s Freedom Summer, Joel began a seven-week journey across Mississippi. Along the way, he met all kinds of people, black and white, of all ages and classes, from the humble to the grand. Joel met ministers making history and journalists writing it. He photographed Martin Luther King Jr. and James Abernathy, taught at a freedom school, interviewed a leader of the White Citizens Councils, was harassed by Jackson police, and escaped death in Vicksburg. A few weeks after Joel arrived in Mississippi, the FBI found the bodies of the missing volunteers.
Inspired by the social documentary photographs of Walker Evans (his critic at Yale) and Robert Frank, Joel snapped hauntingly quotidian photos with his camera. Amid acts of savagery and courage that transfixed the nation, Joel discovered resilient individuals living quiet lives. Instead of focusing on the politically charged and confrontational scenes that other photographers were documenting, Joel wanted to show the day-to-day quality of citizens’ lives. “I believed that beneath the fears, anger, frustration and rhetoric of both sides were individual lives, black and white, worthy of witness,” he writes in his book showcasing the photos. And I Said No Lord is a moving record of America in evolution.