Civil Rights Photographer Visits Hazard

By: Jenna Emenhiser Email
By: Jenna Emenhiser Email

His pictures are in history books and capture the Civil Rights movement and now you can view the photographs by Ernest C. Withers at the Hazard Community and Technical College.

If a picture can say a thousand words, than the sights Ernest C. Withers has viewed through his camera speak volumes.

"Anything you do as a news reporter has to be authentic and that's what I try to do, be authentic in what I was doing," Withers said.

"All the people he's met and spoke to know he was at the Loraine Motel when Martin Luther King was shot and just so much history here," said Withers Great Niece Veronica Oxford.

Now many of his most famous photographs are on display at the Hazard Community and Technical College for the public to view at no cost.

"It's fascinating. It's fascinating to see such dedication," said Janet McReynolds.

His pictures include the times he spent time with Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and photos from when he worked as a newspaper photographer at the Emmit Till Trial. Six days of work for a mere 25 dollars but after all of his life experiences, his message to pass along is simple.

"You got to be what you is and not what you ain't because if you ain't what you is, you is what you ain't," he said.

With all he's seen and experienced in life, Wither's great niece says he's still a humble man but he's a man who knows about history because he lived it.

Withers will be back at the college Friday morning from 10 to 11 am and his photographs will be on display until next Friday.

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