William Christenberry is a multi-talented artist who has undertaken a decades-long project of photographing his home, Hale County, Alabama. Embarking every year on a personal journey throughout Alabama, Christenberry patiently drew a certain history of America, focusing on the gradual degradation of the constructions and the devastating emptiness of the region.
Year after year, wooden farms dissolve in the fields, a once mythic grocery store runs out of business, an underground club changes colors at the whim of each new owner, and bricks turn round before falling apart. As the pace of rural exodus quickens, so does the vanishing of the place’s memory. His work is often based around sets of images which contain 10-20 photographs of the same place. These series document the slow transformations that occurred in each spot under the pressure of time. The repetition of similar landscapes, and in many cases of similar buildings, spanning periods of over 30 years, infuses the frames with loneliness and decay.
Tallladega College Marching Band
New Orleans, Louisiana
"The Beautiful" in Talladega
“I don’t know whether I am doing a right deed as to plead to you. But I do know that I am all right to plead for my race…I am a Southern colored girl in New York.” –Miss South Carolinean, April 10, 1933
Letter from Miss South Carolinean [Carolinian] to President Franklin Roosevelt Regarding the Scottsboro Case
Clarence Norris, Charlie Weems, Haywood Patterson, Ozie Powell, Willie Robertson, Eugene Williams, Olen Montgomery, Andy Wright, and Ray Wright were known as the “Scottsboro Boys.” In 1931, the nine African Americans were tried and convicted of assault and rape in Alabama by all-white juries within two weeks. Eight were sentenced to death. In this letter to Franklin Roosevelt, “Miss South Carolinian” asked for the President’s help.
The initial speedy trials, the age of the defendants, the racial bias of the juries and the severity of the sentences led to arguments that the defendants never received fair trials and a movement to free them. Their case went to the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled they were denied the right to counsel, violating their right to due process under the 14th amendment. Eventually, their sentences were commuted and charges against four were dropped, but their lives were forever changed as most spent years in jail. On November 21, 2013, posthumous pardons were issued by the state of Alabama to Charlie Weems, Andy Wright and Haywood Patterson.
This letter is among the featured items at the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" exhibit now on display at the National Archives Museum.
Caught this during school today: a high-hood GP38 leading a local freight!
Here are a few images from Hangout Festival 2013 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. All images were shot with a Canonet ql17.
Photography: Alan Barrington Evans