chapter  2
14 Pages

Changing Feelings: Fallen Women, Sentimentality, and the Activist Press

ByMaría Carla Sánchez

In 1966 photographer, activist, and writer Julius Lester joined the photography department of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and for documentation purposes spent several months traveling through Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana photographing black communities. During his early time there, he went through the previous SNCC photo files and came across negatives and several prints made by SNCC photographers before him. It was then that Lester realized he wanted to "create a calendar that would have images of blacks and other non-whites and to give the calendars to poor blacks in Mississippi so they could look at people more like themselves". Indeed, Lester's observations of the walls of Southern rural homes reinforce the need for an inclusive visual history; therefore, the SNCC calendar specifically acts as a vehicle for insertion of the African American self not only into history but culture in so far as culture can be disseminated through a visual print medium.