Withers Work Will Never Wither By Jeanine Jones They say a picture is worth 1000 words His are worth more than 1 million before the era of cell phones and selfies, his pictures were posted worldwide and made world history Off guard shots No selfies No time to say cheese Documenting a movement, a million moments in time of just and unjust acts from Mamie Till’s boy Emmett to Coretta Scott’s King Pictures was his thing Pictures, priceless pictures worth more than a million writers words and a rich man’s dollars Prolific pictures Placing Stax music, Memphis and Civil rights on a global map The work of Withers will never wilt nor wither, weathering times test Everlasting impressions on the hearts and minds of an unrest nation Seen in magazines, newspapers, documentaries, and tv media stations The work of a photo legend Never compromised As some accused him of snapping, snitching and sneaking Possibly, all COINTELPRO lies Possibly, snapping, snitching and sneaking/Un-silencing the south’s secrets through vivid images that impressed national coverage and media outlets Looks like Withers won the bet His photographs changed the world They held open-sore, flesh wounded realities of the world and the beauty of a people who just wanted rights, Civil Rights Capturing rare shots of everyday life from police brutality to monumental movements History stands and stood, still, with every shot and snap he clicked and clacked While capturing a movement moving history forward Photojournalist, Ernest Withers, the artist who needed no brush the movement was his canvas, his eye, an optical lens One of Memphis’ first Black policemen took a stand His nephew Andrew continues to snap Following the trail of the legacy of Withers Who’s been long gone but his work lives on The work of Withers will never wilt nor wither
Jeanine Jones is a small P.E.A. (Poet, Educator, Author) in a big pot, packing a lot of flavor. She loves the arts and uses poetry as her gel to make literacy stick. She has written five books and plays, including We Can All Decorate the Same Tree.