Documentarian
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Ernest Withers | 1922-2007

Documentarian
Ernest C. Withers in a 1999 portrait. The photographer documented more than 60 years of African American history, from the blues music of Beale Street to the civil rights movement. He died Monday in Memphis, Tenn., at age 85. (Claude Jones / The Commercial Appeal)
Historic ride
A Withers photo shows the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., left, and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy riding a bus in Montgomery, Ala., the day the transit system was desegregated in 1956. (© Ernest C. Withers / Panoptican Gallery)
At home with a camera
A self-portrait taken in the late 1940s. (© Ernest C. Withers / Panoptican Gallery)
Historic schoolday
Withers chronicled the 1957 desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. (© Ernest C. Withers / Panoptican Gallery)
Pickets
A 1968 sanitation workers strike in Memphis -- the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s last march. (© Ernest C. Withers / Panoptican Gallery)
Funeral
Withers’ photos provided a record of the funeral of NAACP organizer Medgar Evers, who was killed after working to register voters in 1963. Here, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is stopped by police at the funeral in Jackson, Miss. (© Ernest C. Withers / Panoptican Gallery)
Satchel Paige
Withers photographed many of the greatest black baseball players of his time, who competed against one another before the major leagues were integrated. Here, pitching legend Satchel Paige poses with five of Withers’ children, circa 1955. (© Ernest C. Withers / Panoptican Gallery)
Willie Mays
An image from “Negro League Baseball,” a 2005 book of Withers photos. A not-yet-famous Willie Mays is visible in the upper left between two teammates on the Birmingham Black Barons team, which is exulting in a 1948 victory over the Memphis Red Sox. (© Ernest C. Withers / Panoptican Gallery)
Jackie Robinson
Left to right: Larry Doby, Matty Brescia and Jackie Robinson in 1953, a Withers photo from the book “Negro League Baseball.” (© Ernest C. Withers / Panoptican Gallery)
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