Courage in the Moment presents the Civil Rights movement at ground-level. In 1961, the editor of The Daily Tarheel, newspaper of the University of North Carolina, sent his staff into the streets of Chapel Hill to cover local civil rights activities. Among his reporters was a young photographer named Jim Wallace.
Wallace shot hundreds of pictures of what he saw. He documented the participants in the Freedom Movement on both sides of the law, encountering each other day after day in marches and sit-ins. Unlike many photographic surveys of the time that present the movement on a broad scale, Wallace's account is an intimate one. He names the protesters, the policemen, even some of the bystanders—who they were, what they did, and the risks the protesters took. In the course of the book, several of these people become familiar, their courage and resolve palpable.
Wallace's camera also captured the magnitude, and some of the intimate moments, of the 1963 March on Washington, scene of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s memorable “I Have a Dream” speech. And finally, on his return to Chapel Hill, Wallace gained access to a full-force Ku Klux Klan rally, where he took scores of pictures of men and women parading in white-hooded uniforms before a gigantic cross flaming against the night sky. A grim and terrifying reminder that the struggle was far from over.
Now, Courage in the Moment for the first time presents Wallace's full story in photographs of that turbulent, and ultimately pivotal, era. Fifty years after the March on Washington, it gives us reason to remember the courage, and sacrifice, of a group of individuals that serve as a microcosm for an epic change in American society.
With narrative text and captions by Paul Dickson, author of The Bonus Army, among more than forty other books, a Foreword by Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director of the National Museum of African-American History at the Smithsonian, and more than 100 unforgettable photographs from Jim Wallace's archive.
“We have all seen the strong images of the March on Washington. While Jim Wallace's work is important because it adds to the corpus of images and knowledge about that crucial moment, his work also brings a freshness that I found surprising. . . . what impressed me was his ability to see beyond the crowds into the faces of the participants.”
--Lonnie Bunch, from the Foreword