How A Physicist From New York Ended Up Capturing Some Of The Most Iconic Civil Rights Images

January 19, 2015 3:59 PM

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How A Physicist From New York Ended Up Capturing Some Of The Most Iconic Civil Rights Images

Stephen Somerstein is a retired physicist who spent many years working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. But long before he devoted his days to researching the interactions of atomic nuclei, he was an editor and photographer for New York's City College newspaper. It was then, as a university student, that he wound his way to the great Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights March in January 1965.

It was a last minute decision, but Somerstein had been attentively following the events in Selma. With five cameras in tow, he traveled by bus to the South, spending five days and 54 miles photographing the marchers walking for voting rights. He captured 400 images, of both the passionate activists ...

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