A Day Like No Other: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
Graeme Phelps Schulke (1924–2008)
Graeme Phelps Schulke, born in St. Paul, Minnesota, known as "Flip" Schulke, is a noted civil rights photographer. One of only a handful of photographers to develop a personal relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Schulke's archive includes more than 10,000 images related to King and the civil rights movement. Their friendship evolved from a 1958 meeting when the young King was the head of the Southern Leadership Christian Conference and Schulke was on assignment for Ebony magazine. Close personal contact with one of the future leaders of the civil rights movement provided Schulke with the opportunity to not only document but to interpret through photography the meaning of this important political movement for history.
As a well recognized photojournalist Schulke was often sent on assignments to cover the civil rights demonstrations in the south at a time when few black photographers would have been welcomed or safe in many southern towns even with a camera and press card. Schulke covered many such assignments as a free lance shooter for Johnson Publishing Company, the publisher of Ebony and Jet, mainstays in the black media. Schulke acquired the nickname Flip in high school gymnastics.
This image of marchers has an interesting twist. While in Washington to cover the march, Schulke waited at Union Station offering to direct a large group of demonstrators to the Lincoln Memorial. He guided them in a most indirect way so that he could obtain an image of marchers with the Capitol building in the background.
Graeme Phelps "Flip" Schulke. Marchers in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom], August 28, 1963. Gelatin silver print. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (0024.00.00)
© Flip Schulke