Beauty in black and white.

Mississippi, 1963. Martha Prescod, Mike Miller, and Robert Parris Moses do voter registration work in the countryside. Photo: Danny Lyon.

On the last day of our July 4th visit with family in New York, my daughter and I are going to the Whitney Museum to see the show of photographs by Danny Lyon.

Lyon calls his website Bleak Beauty.

But I think his photographs are beauty in black and white.

From his site:

In the summer of 1962, Danny Lyon packed a Nikon Reflex and an old Leica in an army bag and hitchhiked south. Within a week he was in jail in Albany, Georgia, looking through the bars at another prisoner, Martin Luther King Jr. Lyon soon became the first staff photographer for the Atlanta-based Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which already had a reputation as one of the most committed and confrontational groups fighting for civil rights.

Lyon’s gift to us are his photographs of the Southern Civil Rights Movement and the heroes of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee for which he was their first staff photographer.

The Whitney show is called Message to the Future.

Following his time with SNCC, Lyon went on to record outsider motorcyclists, prisoners and mostly not the rich and famous.

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