“As Dr. King often said, ‘If the issue of race is not squarely debated and favorably brought to closure this nation will not survive.’ North of Dixie makes this tragic story of our nation worthy of our attention. It helps us understand the ways in which this tragedy can be addressed.”--Harry Belafonte
The history of the civil rights movement is commonly illustrated with well-known photographs from Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma leaving the visual story of the movement outside the South remaining to be told. In North of Dixie, historian Mark Speltz shines a light past the most iconic photographs of the era to focus on images of everyday activists who fought campaigns against segregation, police brutality, and job discrimination in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, and Cedar Rapids, and many other cities.
With images by photojournalists, artists, and activists, including Bob Adelman, Charles Brittin, Diana Davies, Leonard Freed, Gordon Parks, and Art Shay, North of Dixie offers a broader and more complex view of the American civil rights movement than is usually presented by the media. North of Dixie also considers the camera as a tool that served both those in support of the movement and against it. Photographs inspired activists, galvanized public support, and implored local and national politicians to act, but they also provided means of surveillance and repression that were used against movement participants. North of Dixie brings to light numerous lesser-known images and illuminates the story of the civil rights movement in the American North and West.