Published in 1970, Jill Freedman’s Old News: Resurrection City documented the culmination of the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968, organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and carried out under the leadership of Ralph Abernathy in the wake of Dr King’s assassination. Three thousand people set up camp for six weeks in a makeshift town that was dubbed Resurrection City, and participated in daily protests. Freedman lived in the encampment for its entire six weeks, photographing the residents, their daily lives, their protests and their eventual eviction.
This new 50th-anniversary edition of the book reprints most of the pictures from the original publication, with improved printing and a more vivid design. Alongside Freedman’s hard-hitting original text, two introductory essays are included, by John Edwin Mason, historian of African history and the history of photography at the University of Virginia, and by Aaron Bryant, Curator of Photography at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The photographs of Jill Freedman (born 1939) are held in the permanent collections of major art institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the International Center of Photography, New York; the New York Public Library; the Jewish Museum, New York; the George Eastman House, Rochester; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She has had solo exhibitions at numerous museums, including the International Center of Photography, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and the George Eastman House. Seven monographs of her work have been published: Old News: Resurrection City (Grossman, 1970); Circus Days (Harmony, 1975); Firehouse (Doubleday, 1977); Street Cops (Harper & Row, 1982); A Time That Was: Irish Moments (Friendly Press, 1987); Jill’s Dogs (Pomegranate Art Books, 1993); and Ireland Ever (Harry Abrams, 2004). Freedman is represented by Steven Kasher Gallery.