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Danny Lyon | Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement exhibit opens at Antioch College's Herndon Gallery

#BlackLivesMatter performances at Opening Reception Friday, June 5, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Exhibition runs from June 5-Aug 7, 2015

The Herndon Gallery at Antioch College opens an historic exhibition of iconic documentary civil rights photographs: "DANNY LYON | MEMORIES OF THE SOUTHERN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT in an Opening Reception on Friday, June 5, 7:00-9:00 p.m., with #BlackLivesMatter performances, responses and artifacts by contemporary artists/citizen activists.

Artists contributing at the Opening Reception include: slam and performance poets, John Booth, Furaha Henry-Jones and G. Scott Jones, and visual artist/activist, Migiwa Orima (Black Lives Matter-Miami Valley), whose banner designs have powerfully connected the local movements to the national movement. These living banners, when not in use, will be displayed in the Herndon Gallery. Showing in the gallery balcony is the archival video slide montage, known as The Gegner Barbershop Incident, created by Brian Springer, featuring archival newspaper clippings and photographs of a local citizens civil rights protest that occurred from 1960-1964 in Yellow Springs surrounding racial discrimination at a local barber shop and later led up to the forming of the Antioch College group that headed south to work for voting rights with the national Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Photographer and filmmaker Danny Lyon captured some of the civil rights movement's most compelling moments, from the March on Washington, to the aftermath of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama. A self-taught photographer and graduate of the University of Chicago, Lyon began his photographic career in the early 1960s as the first staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a national group of college students who joined together after the first sit-in by four African American college students at a North Carolina lunch counter. Lyon became a leader of post-War documentary photography and film and helped create a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter.

From 1962-1964, Lyon traveled the South and Mid-Atlantic regions documenting the Civil Rights Movement. His photographs were published in The Movement, a documentary book about the Southern Civil Rights Movement, and later in Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, Lyon's own memoir of his years working for the SNCC. The second publishing of Lyon's out of print memoir was made possible through the generosity of Antioch College Trustee David Goodman '69 and The Andrew Goodman Foundation. In his book, Lyon writes about the grim conditions in the south, "At the time virtually no blacks were registered in the Mississippi Delta. And those few brave ones that tried could lose their homes, as did Fannie Lou Hammer, lose their jobs when their names were published in the newspaper, or lose their lives…."

Lyon has won two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Fellowship, and ten National Endowment for the Arts awards. He is affiliated with Magnum Photos, and his work has appeared at MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Center for Creative Photography.

Lyon was the 2014 National Geographic Photographers Seminar keynote speaker interviewed by the great civil rights leader Julian Bond (son of Horace Mann Bond). Bond wrote in the forward for Danny's book, "Danny was as idealistic as the rest of us. Someone in SNCC called him "Dandelion" because his curly hair resembled that flower. Inquisitive, New York-y, rumpled, he joined the band of brothers and circle of trust as the first of several fine photographers who documented, recorded, and froze the movement and its supporters and opponents into black and white. "SNCC's idea of photography was functional…Danny took this function and made art." He had been hooked by the bravery of SNCC's John Lewis…."

About Lewis, Lyon said, "We remain close friends. We were roommates in Atlanta in 1963. It was my meeting with John in Cairo (Illinois) in the summer of 1962 that began my journey south." Not long after Lyon arrived in 1962, Lyon spent time in a jail cell right next to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Almost fifty years to the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the Antioch College commencement address to the graduating class of 1965, (many of whom were student organizers in the Civil Rights movement), the newly independent Antioch College proudly and enthusiastically celebrates the graduating class of 2015, and welcomes Civil Rights champion and U.S. Congressman, the Honorable John Lewis to deliver the commencement address.

Please join us as we honor and celebrate this historic gathering of Civil Rights leaders, citizen activists, student organizers, past and present, for the commencement and reunion weekend at Antioch College, June 19-20th.

Friday, JUNE 19, 1:00-3:00 p.m.:
The Herndon Gallery will host a second opening reception and a BOOK SIGNING with DANNY LYON and a very special reception and conversation with DAVID GOODMAN '69 and STEVE SCHWERNER '60 (Surviving brothers of slain Civil Rights workers, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner).

Saturday, JUNE 20, 4:00 p.m.:
(Foundry Theater)
The Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner Story
In 1964, three young "Freedom Summer" voting rights workers were brutally murdered by the KKK. They were James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael "Mickey" Schwerner. Surviving brothers and Antioch alumni, David Goodman '69 and Steve Schwerner '60 tell their story. Organized by Amanda Cole '05, Director of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund, and moderated by Mila Cooper, Director of the Coretta Scott King Center.

Thursday, JULY 16, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Join us in the Herndon Gallery for an informal conversation with Danny Lyon via live video feed from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The exhibit was coordinated with assistance from Hava Gurevich, Director of art2art Circulating Exhibitions, New York, NY and by Jennifer Wenker, creative director of the Herndon Gallery and with research assistance from Dennie Eagleson '71, Resident Scholar and former Antioch College assistant professor of photography and from Herndon Gallery student assistants, Eric Rhodes '16 and Hannah Craig '17. Photographs © Danny Lyon, New York & Magnum Photos, New York. Additional information about Danny Lyon can be found at his blog and website at and

Herndon Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. The gallery is closed June 30 through July 6 during the Antioch College quarter break. For more information, contact Jennifer Wenker, creative director of the Herndon Gallery at or 937-319-0114. Additional information may be found at Except where otherwise noted, all events will be held in the Herndon Gallery, South Hall, Antioch College, One Morgan Place, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387. All events are free and open to the public.