Week Long Events in Jackson, Mississippi
Harvey Richards films and photos are part of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Freedom Summer, including this one on the announcement of the Banquet on June 28th. His photography of the Mississippi voter registration movement have been incorporated into many of the works listed in the Zinn Education Project resources guide. In addition, the city of Jackson’s Smith Roberston museum has acquired Harvey’s photos as part of their 50th anniversary exhibit. His films “We’ll Never Turn Back” and “Dream Deferred” as well as his photographs of Mississippi voter registration activists have contributed significantly to the historical record of the events now being celebrated.
Harvey Richards’ photographs of Mississippi civil rights movement activists were taken during two filming trips that he made to Mississippi in the dangerous years of 1963 and 1964. He drove there in his station wagon with California license plates, making him an easy target for hostile segregationists. He stayed in Memphis, Tennessee, during the filming, driving into the delta in the dark early morning hours to meet with Amzie Moore and other civil rights movement leaders like Bob Moses, E.W. Steptoe, Hollis Watkins, Julian Bond and Fannie Lou Hamer. Mrs. Hamer was one of several share croppers who attempted to register to vote and were willing to tell their stories on camera. Their stories are presented in the film “Freedom Bound”, later revised with SNCC leaders’ fund raising appeals added, as “We’ll Never Turn Back”. Under Amzie Moore’s direction, he drove on back roads via pre-arranged routes into rural areas to farm houses where look outs were posted during the filming sessions. Filming usually took place inside these farm houses with the windows covered. By dawn, Harvey was packed up and headed out of the delta. The great danger of violence from segregationists and police made it necessary to film the voices of the share croppers and civil rights movement leaders in clandestine conditions.