The Peppler Collection

Posted by: Valorie Lawson - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Southern Courier. You've probably never heard of it. But in 1965 the weekly newspaper, published in Montgomery became a major source of news during the civil rights movement and now, a collection of pictures shot by one of it's photographers shows us a piece of history that changed the world.

If a picture is worth a thousand words then these pictures have a story to tell. It's a look at life in the south as it appeared through the lens of Jim Peppler.  Cynthia Luckie, an archivist with the State Department of Archives says "you can see the emotion on people's faces and I think that emotional connection. It makes you appreciate that history is not just names and dates it's the story of real people."

Peppler, was a young photographer who shot for a weekly newspaper based in Montgomery called the Southern Courier. From 1965 to 1968 He focused on the emotion, the politics and the movement. "When you look through them and see so many images you almost feel like you were there you feel like you see so many shots so many different scenes if feels like such a complete visual picture." says Luckie.

Some of these pictures have never been seen before by the public, until now. Peppler donated more than 11 thousand images to the Department of Archives.  Each one is scanned and placed on the state's website. Wilbur Williams carefully goes through every one of them and each unveils a lesson. "These pictures will help a whole new generation of people see the modern civil rights movement in a way that's never been viewed before because these images were only seen by him and a few other people. Now the world will have access to them."

It's another page of history, a close up look at our past, a snapshot of time that now lives on.  The Department of Archives needs the public's help to identify some of the people in the photographs.

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