Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Organization and Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

I. Photographic Prints:

II. Digital images:

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the James "Spider" Martin Photographic Archive, 1964-1965



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Martin, Spider, photographer.
Title: Martin, James "Spider", photographic archive
Dates: 1964-1965
Abstract: The James “Spider” Martin Photographic Archive consists of one gelatin silver photographic print, 39 digital image files and 39 accompanying digital prints primarily documenting two key events in the American civil rights movement: the Bloody Sunday March in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965, and the Selma to Montgomery March that took place from March 21-25, 1965.
Accession No.: AR 2014-046
Extent: 1 gelatin silver print, 39 digital images and 39 digital prints
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Artist and photojournalist James “Spider” Martin documented key events in the civil rights movement in Alabama, including the events of the Bloody Sunday March in Selma on March 7, 1965, and the Selma to Montgomery March later the same month. Born on April 1, 1939, in Fairfield, Alabama, Martin attended Jacksonville State University and the University of Alabama. He began his career as a photographer after an unexpectedly successful commission for U.S. Steel and became a freelance photojournalist for the Birmingham News. In covering the civil rights movement, Martin both documented and participated in the marches, facing intimidation and violence from pro-segregation demonstrators. Over the course of his career, Martin took over 2,600 photographs of the movement, prompting civil rights leader and friend John Lewis to say of him, “He left, through the power of his camera and with a quick eye, images that will educate and sensitize unborn generations.”

Portions of Martin’s work have been exhibited in the Cannon Rotunda in Washington, D.C., the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Selma Interpretive Center and the University of Montevallo. Martin died Tuesday, April 8, 2003 in Blount Springs, Alabama.

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Scope and Contents

The James “Spider” Martin Photographic Archive consists of one gelatin silver photographic print, 39 digital image files and 39 accompanying digital prints primarily documenting two key events in the American civil rights movement: the Bloody Sunday March in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965, and the Selma to Montgomery March that took place from March 21-25, 1965. Motivated by efforts to increase voting in Dallas County, Alabama, where less than 1% of the county’s black citizens were registered to vote in 1962, the Selma Civil Rights Movement began in late 1964, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arriving in the city in early January 1965 to formally announce the initiative. On March 7, John Lewis, SCLC’s Hosea Williams and approximately 600 other demonstrators set off from Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma in an attempt to march to the state capitol in Montgomery. However, Alabama state troopers blocked the marchers’ route across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and a mounted posse led by Dallas County Sheriff Jim Clark violently beat dozens of the marchers. Images in the series show Andrew Young praying with other civil rights activists before the beginning of the march, state troopers in gas masks, and Amelia Boynton after being beaten near the bridge.

A second sub-series of photographs documents the events of the Selma to Montgomery March that took place in the wake of the events of Bloody Sunday. On March 21, 1965, close to 8,000 marchers once again convened at the Brown AME Church with the goal of marching to Montgomery. The second march reached the City of St. Jude on the outskirts of the capital on March 24th, and over 25,000 civil rights demonstrators gathered at the Alabama State Capitol sthe next day. Photographs in this series show Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King participating in the march, protestors marching along the route and the final rally in Montgomery. A small number of related civil rights photographs are additionally included in the archive.

Archivist's Note: See collection holding record for print out that matches prints to associated digital image numbers. Photographic prints are digital prints unless otherwise noted.

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Organization and Arrangement

The papers are arranged into two series by material type:
  • I. Photographic Prints
    • a. Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965
    • b. Selma to Montgomery March, March 21‐25, 1965
    • c. Other civil rights photographs, 1964-1965
  • II. Digital images

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use of digital materials by appointment; please contact photographs archivist for more information.

Use Restrictions

Photographs are copyrighted to the Spider Martin Estate.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
King, Coretta Scott, 1927-2006--Photographs.
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968--Photographs.
Lewis, John, 1940 February 21---Photographs.
Mants, Bob--Photographs.
Robinson, Amelia Boynton, 1911---Photographs.
Shuttlesworth, Fred L., 1922-2011--Photographs.
Turner, Albert, 1936-2000--Photographs.
Williams, Hosea, 1926---Photographs.
Young, Andrew, 1932---Photographs.
Subjects (Organizations)
Selma to Montgomery Rights March (1965 : Selma, Ala.)--Photographs.
Subjects
African Americans--Civil rights--1960-1970--Photographs.
Civil rights--United States--1960-1970--Photographs.
Civil rights demonstrations--United States--Photographs.
Civil rights workers--United States--Photographs.
Places
Montgomery (Ala.)--Photographs.
Selma (Ala.)--Photographs.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

James "Spider" Martin Photographic Archive, 1964-1965, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Amy Bowman, March 2014.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

I. Photographic Prints:

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2W152 Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965:
Andrew Young prays with John Lewis, Hosea Williams, Albert Turner, and Amelia Boynton near Brown Chapel AME Church before the march begins
Andrew Young holds hands in the air during prayer before the march
Andrew Young prays with John Lewis, Hosea Williams, Albert Turner and Amelia Boynton near Brown Chapel AME Church before the march begins
John Lewis, Hosea Williams, Albert Turner, and Bob Mants lead marchers beyond the bridge
State troopers in teargas masks
Hosea Williams and John Lewis confront troopers on Bloody Sunday
John Lewis is beaten by a trooper, receiving a concussion
John Lewis being beaten by a trooper on Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama [gelatin silver print]
State trooper with teargas gun
Troopers in front of Brown Chapel AME Church
Amelia Boynton lies on the ground as a state trooper with his club stands over her
Amelia Boynton is assisted as other marchers make their way back over the bridge
Amelia Boynton lifted from the median of Highway 80 near the bridge
Man runs through tear gas
Selma to Montgomery March, March 21‐25, 1965:
Arm in arm, King and others lead the march
March begins in Selma
King with Andrew Young and Fred Shuttlesworth in Selma on the March to Montgomery
Jim Leatherer, with only one leg, marches on crutches
King and others march in front of antebellum home
A marcher protests segregation across the United States, the flag positioned upside‐down to signal distress
Sharecropper’s shack on the road from Selma to Montgomery
The march makes its way through Lowndes County under armed guard
An unidentified man on the Selma to Montgomery March wears a jacket painted with the words “Alabama God‐Damn”
White hecklers with Confederate flag confront marchers
Pastor from Maine rests his head on his knees during the march
Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King laugh during entertainment at the St. Jude Hospital in Montgomery, March 24, 1965
The Kings lead the march through downtown Montgomery
Crowd with flags, Montgomery
Protesters with signs calling for King to be “run out of Alabama”
Nun and military police officer at Capitol
Joan Baez performs for Montgomery crowd
Crowd of 25,000 gathers in front of the Alabama Capitol
King delivers speech in front of microphones on Capitol steps
King speaks to a crowd of 25,000 at the end of the march
The march makes its way through Lowndes County under armed guard
Price leads a protest against the marchers in Montgomery
Group resting, probably during the Selma to Montgomery March
Other civil rights photographs, 1964-1965:
Fred Shuttlesworth in Birmingham, 1964
Martin Luther King, Jr., James Forman, and others in the Beulah Baptist Church prior to Bloody Sunday
Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in Birmingham after the Voting Rights Act passed in August 1965

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II. Digital images:

box
3Q147b 39 digital images on two DVDs

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