Stephen Somerstein was a 24-year-old New York college student when he photographed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery, Alabama march, capturing images of the historic event that changed the course of civil rights in the United States. Tara Cleary reports.
"Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March", features 50 of some 400 images captured almost 50 years ago in Alabama by photographer Stephen Somerstein. Editor of a college newspaper in New York at the time, Somerstein felt compelled to document the historic march. SOUNDBITE: Stephen Somerstein, photographer, saying (English): "How do you capture a sense of the people there and why they're there and what their business was, a story that had to be told. So I had to work that out for myself to find people who would represent those moments in time." Somerstein captured faces, moments and emotions of onlookers and marchers, including several images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The photographer says the sense of history was palpable. SOUNDBITE: Stephen Somerstein, photographer, saying (English): "People from around the country gathered together to make known their wishes that all people had equal opportunity and equal opportunity to vote anywhere in the country." Four months after the march, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Somerstein's photographs can be viewed at the New-York Historical Society from January 16th through April 19th.