10 Essential Civil Rights Movement Photographers

The iconic imagery surrounding the civil rights movement, while problematic for some, is unquestionably powerful, especially for those of us who weren’t around to witness this important chapter in American history firsthand. These pictures not only made plain the gross inequality between races in our country; in many cases, they served as the much-needed public awareness catalyst needed to pass vita legislation like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, we’ve rounded up a handful of important photographers from the era, along with some of their most iconic shots. Feel free to keep our list going in the comments!

Bill Hudson

Associated Press photographer Bill Hudson is perhaps best known for capturing this galvanizing image of Parker High School student Walter Gadsden being attacked by police dogs in Birmingham, Alabama on May 3, 1963; a three column-spanning version of the shocking photo ran above the fold in The New York Times the following day.