You know how sometimes I read that section from Braving the Fire about running into a photograph of my father at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and how the photo was labelled “Unidentified Man” and I burst into tears in the museum and the nice guard and administrator put me in touch with the photographer? I have that story in the book because 1) it’s really strange about coincidences, and this one certainly illustrates William Carlos Williams’ statement, “no ideas but in things,” 2)a photograph is an entry way into story (ref: item #1) and 3)what a weird moment.
The photographer is Ben Fernandez, who took such evocative, humane, and stirring photos of that era. Last week, the New York Times Lens blog ran a feature on Ben and his work. Ben and his wife Siiri sent me the link, and I’m pasting it here for you. The article is called “No Choice But to Protest and Take Pictures.”
Yes to both.
The photo above is THE photo of my father and a man whose name I can not remember and wish I did. If you know it, will you please message me? This image is copyright Ben Fernandez and I’m taking a leap of faith that you won’t steal it from here, because it’s Ben’s and I’m kind of presenting here as promotion for his work.