Flashpoints: The Photography of Ernest Withers

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July 12, 2023

June 17 - August 31, 2023

Comprised of 41 film photographs, Flash Points is a solo exhibition that presents the work of Ernest C. Withers, the revered Memphis-born photographer who documented and shaped the visual narrative of the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibition explores the cognitive character of Black struggle through Withers’ politics of creation as a Black photographer working within the geography of the American South. Flash Points considers and makes tangible the fervent ethos of the American landscape in the 1950s and 60s—echoing the urgency and angst of an era in flux. In his iconic photographs, Withers captures the contours of collective resistance; a jigsaw amalgamation of the pain and joy of quotidian life; the rejection of the status quo; and the faces of those who came to embody the struggle for the protection of individual rights.

This exhibition is curated in partnership with Ms. Rosalind Withers, Director of the Ernest C. Withers Museum and Collection of Memphis, Tennessee.  

About the Artist

Ernest C. Withers (b. August 7, 1922 – d. October 15, 2007) was a Black photojournalist who documented over 60 years of Black history in the segregated Southern United States, with iconic images of the Montgomery bus boycott, Emmett Till’s assassination, the Memphis sanitation strike, Negro league baseball, and musicians of the American South. Serving as an official photographer for Stax Records for 20 years, Withers’ work has been archived by the Library of Congress.

About the Ten North Art Foundation

Ten North’s Art Foundation exists at the intersection of art, design, and public space. Through exhibitions, public programs, residencies, and its permanent art collection, the Art Foundation is a hub for African Diasporic creative placemaking. Fortified by the belief that art transforms communities, the Art Foundation reimagines equitable ecosystems towards generational change.

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