Austin Clinton Brown at 9 years old at the 1963 march on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech. A news article from 1973, 10 years after Brown’s experience at the march revealed several interesting points. One was that the march aroused in him for the first time an awareness of civil rights. Another was the belief that some improvement in equality had been made since the day this photo was taken…and was still hopeful that America would one day elect a black president. Finally, he admitted that the photo was staged and that “the sunglasses belonged to a very clever photographer.”
Staged or not, it’s an image that beautifully represents (to me, and hopefully others) the simultaneous hope and struggle America experiences (still) trying to recognize, rectify, and reconcile racial injustice and relations.