I'm Walkin' for My Freedom

June 4 - September 24, 2022

Image by Matt Herron

I’m Walkin’ for My Freedom presents the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes and work of photojournalist Matt Herron. Based in Mississippi in the early 60s, Herron covered the Civil Rights struggle for Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, and the Saturday Evening Post, as well as providing pictures and support for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

In reference to this experience, Herron said:

My wife and I went down to Mississippi in 1963 to put our shoulders to the wheel of civil rights, with a personal mission to advance the cause of nonviolence. The movement was small and embattled, and we had no idea it would ever be as successful as it was. But we knew that this was a historic change, and I was always aware I was photographing history.

I was a photographer who was offering his professional services, and I was willing to put my body on the line. And there were no barriers in those days between anyone who was there in the cause of civil rights. I don't know the exact analogy, but I always thought we were on the front lines; we were in danger; we cleaved to each other; we sang together; we hugged each other. It was the only time in my life when I lived in a truly integrated, loving society. We referred to it as “The Beloved Community.” It was a golden moment, and I'll never experience it again.

Matt Herron died on August 7, 2020, when a glider he was piloting crashed in Northern California. This compilation of photographs is on loan from the Center for Documentary Expression and Art in Salt Lake City, UT to be displayed at Southern Utah Museum of Art.

This exhibition is organized by Matt Herron and the Center for Documentary Expression and Art. It is shown here with the permission of the Matt and Jeannine Herron Trust, 2001.