In 1965, as a college student, I was inspired by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. who called for volunteers to join him in the civil rights movement. Black Americans in the South were engaged in a determined struggle to gain the right to vote. By June I was on a train heading from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Greensboro, Alabama to join the registration campaign.
A photographer friend insisted I had to document my experiences and gave me a camera. I had no understanding of the power of the still image. So when I got to Greensboro, I pushed the Nikon under my bed where it stayed all summer, a decision I have regretted ever since.
But after my mother’s sudden death in 1968 I got a second chance.
A strange and detailed dream led me to discover her old Olympus camera, hidden in a drawer in the attic of her house. This time I embraced the opportunity, and throughout the years, never lost my passion for the still image.