Selma to Montgomery as captured by Spider Martin

arts / Article

Jim Leatherer, with one leg, marches on crutches to complete the entire journey from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Photo by Spider Martin

“Destination Freedom: Civil Rights Struggles Then and Now,” a commemorative project of the Levine Museum of the New South, continues with an exhibition of photographs by Spider Martin. The exhibition, “Selma to Montgomery: March for the Right to Vote,” opens Saturday, October 11th and runs until February 22, 2015. Catch a first look at “Selma to Montgomery” at the opening reception on Friday, October 10th.

Forty-eight photographs by Spider Martin along with interpretive material about the Selma to Montgomery march are part of the exhibition, which was curated by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and has traveled to Atlanta, New Orleans, Montgomery and Washington, D.C. before stopping in Charlotte. Martin was an Alabama native who grew up outside of Birmingham. As a young but seasoned photographer, he captured this crucial moment in the fight for civil rights, and his work garnered national attention, appearing in Life, Time and The Saturday Evening Post.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. credited Martin’s photographs as a major contributor to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King said, “Spider, we could have marched, we could have protested forever, but if it weren’t for guys like you, it would have been for nothing. The whole world saw your pictures. That’s why the Voting Rights Act was passed.”

The opening reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the museum will feature a panel discussion on recent elections and voting law changes, as well as allow visitors to explore the exhibition. This event is free and open to the public, but guests are encouraged to register online.

Levine Museum of the New South: 200 E. 7th St., Charlotte; 704-333-1887;


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