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A Past That Won't Rest - Images of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi

A Past That Won't Rest

Images of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi

By Jim Lucas
Photographs by Jim Lucas
Edited by Jane Hearn
Hardcover : 9781496816511, 172 pages, 108 b&w photographs, March 2018

Incredible photos documenting the struggle for social change in Mississippi


Contributions by Howard Ball, Peter Edelman, Aram Goudsouzian, Robert E. Luckett Jr. , Ellen B. Meacham, Stanley Nelson, and Charles L. Overby

A Past That Won't Rest: Images of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi collects never-before-published photographs taken by Jim Lucas (1944-1980), an exceptional documentary photographer. His black-and-white images, taken during 1964 through 1968, depict events from the civil rights movement including the search for the missing civil rights workers in Neshoba County, the Meredith March Against Fear, Senator Robert F. Kennedy's visit to the Mississippi Delta, and more. The photographs exemplify Lucas's technical skill and reveal the essential truth in his subjects and the circumstances surrounding them.

Lucas had a gift for telling a visual story, an instinctive eye for framing his shots, and a keen human sensibility as a photojournalist. A college student in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1964, he was on his way to becoming a professional photojournalist when Freedom Summer exploded. Lucas found himself in the middle of events that would command the attention of the whole world. He cultivated his contacts and honed his craft behind the camera as a stringer for Time and Life magazines as well as the Associated Press. Lucas tragically lost his life in a car accident in 1980, but his photographs have survived and preserve a powerful visual legacy for Mississippi. Over one hundred gorgeously sharp photographs are paired with definitive essays by scholars of the events depicted, thereby adding insight and historical context to the book. Charles L. Overby, a fellow Jacksonian and young journalist at the time, provides a foreword about growing up in that tumultuous era.


"With this book, [Jane Hearn] has paid due honor to a talented man who recorded great events."

- Anna Grace Usery, Hotty Toddy

"Jim Lucas had extraordinary, unusual access on the ground in Mississippi. For those of us who were there, the moments he captured are a powerful, sometimes painful, priceless gift. I am so grateful this book will give a new generation of readers a sense of the immediacy and urgency as history was being made."

- Marian Wright Edelman, president, Children's Defense Fund

"A Past That Won't Rest is a collection of wonderful photographs and commentary. Together they add enormously to a history of the struggle for civil rights, a past that still informs the present, and a fight for equal treatment not yet accomplished. These photographs demonstrate that the effort was, and must remain, a people's movement."

- Rita Schwerner Bender, civil rights activist and lawyer

"America has long struggled with issues of equality and race. A Past That Won't Rest: Images of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi is an important reminder of how far we've come as a country and how far we still have to go.

Jim Lucas masterfully captured the humanity of the civil rights movement in Mississippi during the 1960s. The people featured in his work are the face of pain and suffering, but also of resiliency and hope. Like Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, Jim Lucas left us way too early but his life's work will continue to be a crucial piece of our history.

A powerful testimony to the time, everyone who cares about justice should read A Past That Won't Rest: Images of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi."

- David Goodman, brother of Andrew Goodman and president of The Andrew Goodman Foundation