BLACK VOICES

These Iconic Photos Of The 1965 Selma March Give A Powerful Glimpse Of The Historic Protest

02/17/2015 10:28 am ET | Updated Mar 21, 2016

The racial tension that gripped Alabama in the 1960s resulted in some of the most iconic moments of the Civil Rights movement that have been captured and retold over time.

The 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery was arguably one of the more historic events -- and it has prompted renewed focus on and awareness of the incredible fight for voting rights, most recently retold through the lens of director Ava Duvernay and her film “Selma.”

Now, another artist also aims to share additional insight from the front lines of the same protest, which marked a peak moment in the fight for racial equality and social justice.

Photographer Stephen Somerstein chronicled the Selma demonstration through a series of images that authentically portray the events that took place over the course of the 54-mile march.

“When Dr. King called on Americans to join him in a massive protest march to Montgomery, I knew that important, nation-changing history was unfolding and I wanted to capture its power and meaning with my camera,” said Somerstein, who was then the managing editor and picture editor of the City College of New York student newspaper.

Somerstein took more than 400 photos during the five-day march. A special showcase at the New-York Historical Society, which was on display last year, includes a selection of 46 of the iconic images.

Meanwhile, the historical society has shared a few of the photos of the march exclusively with The Huffington Post to give you a glimpse of the reality at the time and the powerful moments that took place:

  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Marchers on the way to Montgomery as families watch from their porches, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Young civil rights marchers with American flags march in Montgomery, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Two mothers with children watching marchers, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Man with American flag and marchers walking past federal troops guarding crossroads, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking to 25,000 civil rights marchers in Montgomery, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Nuns, priests and civil rights leaders at the head of the march, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Three generations of women with children watching civil rights marchers, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Looks out at crowd in Montgomery, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    "Things Go Better With Coke" sign and multi-generational family watching marchers, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    A family watching the march, 1965.
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS