Ernest Withers Honored at Memphis City Hall

(Memphis) For the first time, Ernest Withers photographs are being showcased at Memphis City Hall.

The Memphis native documented the civil rights movement through over a million black and white pictures.

Withers’s daughter Roz Withers selected several of them taken at city hall to display there, “It`s so important to let people know what he`s left as we teach people our past.”

Withers and Mayor A C Wharton viewed the images Tuesday.

One of them shows a grieving Coretta Scott King at city hall just days after her husband was killed in Memphis.

Another shows Martin Luther King Jr.’s last press conference.

Artist Tarsha McGhee painted this portrait of Withers to hang with his photographs.

She says he personally inspired her and she incorporated fabric from his tie, scarf and hat into the painting.

“We spoke about actually doing some paintings of his artwork, so this is the beginning of that,” said McGhee.

Withers died 2007 and earlier this year the FBI said he not only documented the civil rights movement for sixty years, but also served as one of their paid informants reporting on the activity of civil rights leaders.

The free exhibit will be showcased here at city hall through the end of the summer.

If you would like to take a look at it just go to the Hall of Mayors at City Hall.

At the end of the summer they are going to replace that exhibit with another one showcasing the history of Memphis.

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