Mississippi Eyes chronicles the events and the powerful witness of five young photographers in The Southern Documentary Project, working during the pivotal summer of 1964 in the segregated South. Together they captured the sometimes violent, sometimes miraculous process of social change as segregation resisted then gave way to a new beginning toward social justice.
The Southern Documentary Project was the brain child of Matt Herron, a budding photojournalist who had moved with his family to Mississippi in 1963 to work in civil rights and shoot picture stories for Life, Look, and the Saturday Evening Post. Drawing on advice from his friend, the noted documentary photographer Dorothea Lange, he pulled together a shoestring budget, recruited photographers with civil rights experience, and completed the summer with a file of unforgettable photographs.
Matt Herron has been a photographer, writer and photojournalist for most of his life. He has been an ocean voyager, an environmental activist (with Greenpeace), a welder and a labor organizer. Today he directs Take Stock, a stock photography agency specializing in historical civil rights and farm labor images.