Fire hoses being used on civil rights demonstrators, Birmingham, Alabama, 1963.
Charles Moore, Photojournalist
Powerful Days: The Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore
The African American Civil Rights time period in the United States was an era filled with suffering and endurance. Charles Moore captured those feelings in his iconic photograph. When viewing images, the eye normally goes straight to the middle. The water in the middle of the photograph is the cause of the suffering of the protestors. Yet, they endured through that same water to get the rights that many African Americans enjoy today. Typically, water is thought of as a symbol of purity; however, Charles Moore flips that traditional symbolism 180 degrees and makes water a symbol of pain and misery.
A good image is one that makes someone think. Recently, the images coming out of Ferguson, Missouri have made many Americans stop and think about the “militarization of America’s police force.” Former US Senator Jacob Javits of New York said that Moore’s images from the Civil Rights time period “helped to spur the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1984.” This image has relevance and significance because it is still used today when news organizations use photographs to provide a history when highlighting the dark past that the United States has of racism and mistreatment of minorities.