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A Civil Rights Journey
Doris Derby

A Civil Rights Journey, Doris Derby

A Civil Rights Journey, Doris DerbyA Civil Rights Journey
Doris Derby

Edited by Doris Derby.
In collaboration with Hannah Collins and Gregory Harris.


64 pages
210 × 280 mm
ISBN 9781913620448


A Civil Rights Journey presents the astonishing archive of Dr Doris Derby: photographer, activist, and professor of anthropology. Active throughout the Civil Rights Movements of the mid twentieth century in the southern United States, particularly in Mississippi, Derby acted as a photographer, organiser and teacher, making photographs of the intimate and human side of the everyday struggle for survival and human rights. She photographed both the organisation of political events, meetings, and funerals, alongside the literacy, co-operative and community theatre programmes, many of which she founded, and encountered much danger and tragedy along the way.

Here we see the speeches and protests that gave the movement its defining moments, as well as vital figures including Muhammad Ali, Alice Walker, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Jesse Jackson. We also see classrooms and church halls, doctors and secretaries: everyday scenes of joy, frustration, curiosity, and connection, in which the determination and collective actions and resolve and actions of the movement are equally expressed.

This extensive volume presents Derby’s images in sequences that between them document rural and urban poverty, offer lucid ethnographies of particular streets and families, track the day-to-day lives of African American children growing up in the Mississippi Delta, and bear witness to such pivotal events as the Jackson State University shooting, the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr., and the 1968 Democratic Convention. Derby’s photographs offer us an invaluably rich portrait of a historical moment whose effects have defined today’s world and issue a vital reassertion of the work that remains to be done. Derby recounts the events photographed in extensive texts which accompany the images.

About the Artist
Doris Adelaide Derby (b. 1939 – 2022) was an American activist, documentary photographer, and director of Georgia State University’s Office of African-American Student Services and Programs and adjunct associate professor of anthropology. She was active in the Mississippi civil rights movement, and her work discusses the themes of race and African-American identity. She was a working member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), as well as co-founder of the Free Southern Theater, and the founding director of the Office of African-American Student Services and Programs. Her photography has been exhibited internationally. Two of her photographs were published in Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC, to which she also contributed an essay about her experiences in the Mississippi civil rights movement.

About the Publisher
MACK is an independent art and photography publishing house based in London. Mack works with established and emerging artists, writers and curators, and cultural institutions, releasing between 20-25 books per year. The publisher was founded in 2010 in London by Michael Mack.

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