Photographer Sheila Pree Bright Puts Civil Rights Activists In Your Face In Downtown Atlanta
Bright’s series of 14 large-scale monochromatic portraits is the ambitious foundation of a larger endeavor called Project 1960. “Art in public places provides an open platform for discussion. I want generations of people to engage and learn from each other,” she said. In particular, the Atlanta-based artist hopes to inspire Generation Y to move from “slacktivism” to meaningful action.
Charles Person was the youngest of the 13 original Freedom Riders who boarded buses in Washington D.C. to travel into the Deep South. The 18-year-old was brutally beaten by Klansmen in Anniston, AL, because he refused to move to the back of the bus. But Person maintains that his psychic and physical injuries were “worth it.” Contacted by phone, he explained, “That was my life. If the students were marching or picketing or sitting in, I was there. Frank Holloway and Leon Greene and I were called the ‘guerilla troops.’ We could go out and shut down any lunch counter. That’s what we did.” The great-grandson of slaves, Person aspired to become a nuclear physicist and was accepted to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He enrolled at Morehouse after being denied admission to Georgia Institute of Technology.
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