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From The Vault Of Art Shay: The Dream Still Persists

By Art Shay in News on Aug 29, 2013 4:00PM

(Legendary Chicago-based photographer Art Shay has taken photos of kings, queens, celebrities and the common man in a 60-year career. This week, Art's photos show how far the country has come in 50 years and how far we have to go.)

Fifty years! Our ears, our eyes and all our other openings to our consciousness are brimming with those two words this week. We have marked anniversaries ever since we lived in trees. Like us, our heroes have stumbled forward into the Now on feet of clay. Like some endless lawsuit over ownership of the human spirit, the evidence of our humanity—and lack of it—keeps piling up. This just in: the car-to-car Klan murder of human rights activist Viola Liuzzo in 1953 on a road not far from where Birmingham's Eugene "Bull" Connor pressure-hosed and pit-bulled demonstrators, has been solved.

To cover his FBI's complicity, J. Edgar Hoover, a moral swamp of a leader, was found to be the voice that sang out the false accusation that Mrs .Liuzzo was in Alabama for personal, immoral purposes. "We ‘uns is shocked. Shocked!" Making the FBI-propelled Klansmen with guns, an unofficial carload of outraged citizens doing their duty.

While in Washington,the sanctimoniously tough J. Edgar cross-dressed for the pleasure of several boys working under him. These past 50 years and several more around them, bloodied Martin's dream and delays it still from coming completely true.

Published with permission.

If you can't wait until this time every week to get your Art Shay fix, please check out the photographer's blog, which is updated regularly. Art Shay's book, Chicago's Nelson Algren, is also available at Amazon.