Maryland National Guard units patrolling the streets outside a laundry establishment after an outbreak of racially motivated violence
The view from The New Yorker’s photo department
Via The New Yorker
Calvin Trillin Remembers Donald Uhrbrock
“A man in a short-sleeved white shirt and a necktie—he looked like, say, a bus dispatcher—approached a TV cameraman, pulled out some sort of club, and took a swing,” Trillin told me. “The man in the white shirt seemed to be the leader of a small group of men who were there to attack first the press and then the Freedom Riders. Don was photographing this, and, of course was attacked himself. When they tried to get his cameras, he said he’d give them the film, and he handed it over. All this time, we were slowly moving down the parking lot toward the street, with violence breaking out sporadically. Suddenly, a man appeared and said something like ‘Let’s get them out of here.’ He said it with such authority that the attackers, presumably not knowing whether he was police or some high-ranking thug, let him push us toward a cab that was at the curb. He turned out to be a former Montgomery Advertiser reporter who’d arrived on another bus for a visit and had simply taken charge. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t know his name. As we got near the cab, I felt Don handing me a roll of film. ‘Put this in your pocket,’ he said. The roll he’d handed his attackers was blank. This roll had on it the picture that appeared in Life,” of one of the attackers kicking the TV cameraman.
Uhrbrock was a Pulitzer Prize-nominated photographer whose work for Life in the fifties and sixties covered the first astronauts, the civil-rights movement, and the Cuban missile crisis. A selection of his civil-rights-era photographs follows.
Photographs by Donald Uhrbrock/Time & Life Pictures/Getty