Archive for the Category »WithersErnestC «

Print This Post Print This Post
Knights o’ the Post…

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when I read in a recent issue of the Memphis Commercial Appeal that one of the most iconic of movement photographers, Ernest C. Withers, was apparently a closely-supervised, paid informant for the FBI: #ME-338-R.  (The R is for Race.)

The news media has so far gathered FOIA files of his informant status for the years 1968 thru 1970.  While thousands of pages have been revealed, the FBI refuses to release other documents.

As far as the civil rights and black movement was concerned, Withers and his camera were everywhere.  Dying back in 2007 at 85, he had covered everything from the old Negro League baseball and the Memphis Blues scene, to the Emmett Till case (1955), Little Rock high school integration (1957), Ole Miss and James Meredith in ’62, up thru the last hours of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in ’68.  Withers learned his craft in the Army during World War II. more…