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Concerning Our Father, Brother & Friend, Ernest Withers: The Civil Rights Generation Speaks Out!"Part 1 (3617 hits)

topic: "Concerning Our Father, Brother & Friend, Ernest Withers: The Civil Rights Generation Speaks Out!"Part 1

Featured & Honorable Guests:

1.) Andrew "Rome Withers"~Photographer, activist and the son of Ernest Withers.


2.) Min. Suhkara Yahweh a.k.a. Bro. Lance "Sweet Willie Wine" Watson

Prime Minister of the Memphis Invaders, a Black Panther-styled militant group based in Memphis. Was considered 'the most dangerous man in Memphis' during the late 1960s. Affectionately called Withers "my daddy." Unknown to Watson, Withers routinely reported on him. Reports indicate Withers told FBI agents Watson was a thief and a conman and planned an armed takeover of the LeMoyne-Owen College campus. Interviewed this year, Watson had no clue. "If he was (an informant) I don't know anything about it ... He would call me his son. (bio sketch courtesy of the Commercial Appeal)

Was He Or Wasn't He?

Decide For Yourself... 

Sanitation workers' strike. Memphis, Tenn. March 28, 1968 / Ernest Withers, Panopticon Gallery, Boston, Mass.

“The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses."

~Malcolm X

"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." ~Ida B. Wells-Barnett

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~Dr. Martin Luther King

Ernest Withers was once called The Dean Of Civil Rights Photographers for his amazing ability to be on the scene to turn extraordinary history-in-the-making-events with his camera into acclaimed iconic moments for posterity. Whether it was photographing the Emmett Till Trial, Dr. King's first ride on a Montgomery City Bus after a successful 381 day bus boycott, The Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike complete with the very universal I AM A Man protest placards or the tragic death scene of a King for all of humanity (MLK), Mr. Withers' artistry spoke truth to power to both the good and the bad of the human condition and his work is forever seared (and defiantly so) into the consciousnesses of the National Memory.

However, with the revelation of him allegedly being involved with the FBI as an informant, his character, motives and intentions have now all been called into question. A person once so trusted and revered that he  was given intimate and unrestricted access to some of the most dynamic personalities and icons of  a people's movement  is now being labeled as a traitor and Judas. With the scheduled opening of the Ernest C. Withers Museum, his former studio, on legendary Beale Street next month, and the Withers Family waging a legal battle for control over their late father's intellectual property, will this accusation forever tar and feather an otherwise deserving and invaluable aesthetic legacy of providing emotionally riveting teaching moments in images from such a turbulent and yet hopeful time in U.S. history?  

One must also question the timing of this revelation: 
*Who is served by amplifying the shortcomings, both real and perceived, of Ernest Withers the man? 
*Who will control the narrative of a People's movement once control over Withers' invaluable contribution to a People's history is settled in the courts? 
*What is to be gained and what is to be lost?  
*What role has the U.S. Government played in undermining the civil liberties and human rights of its citizens? 
*What really was the nature and quality of the information given to the FBI by Bro. Withers? 
*Was Bro. Withers' participation consensual or forced through the FBI's abuse of power? 
*Did Bro. Withers' supposed information sharing truly undermine the nature and purpose of a People's Movement?  
*Did people needlessly get killed  or sent to prison because of his alleged collaboration?
*In terms of being an alleged informant with an impressive professional legacy, how does Withers fare in comparison with other proven informants and exceptional peers from the Civil Rights Era such as Thurgood Marshall and Alex Haley? 

In a 4-part series, W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News attempts to provide food for thought analysis on the subject by talking with the folks who knew Mr. Withers the best: his family, civil rights movement veterans and journalists who covered the American Civil Rights Movement. We will also garner responses from this current generation of news media journalists. We will attempt to put both Mr. Withers the man and his work in their appropriate contexts, something the corporate news media has failed miserably at doing up to this point. What will be revealed will be very eye opening and will prompt the listeners and participants alike to face uncomfortable truths and questions that need to be answered with more than just nuanced responses and cliches from a clueless pundit.  It will also force many in the general public to rethink their previous positions on the matter as well.

In the words of Flavor Flav: Don't Believe The Hype! 


See Also... 

Tha Artivist Remembers Ernest Withers (1922-2007)...


The Commercial Appeal Story That Started The Controversy


Contact An American Civil Rights Veteran Today:

More Civil Rights Movement On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. :


Tha Artivist




W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Needs Your Support...Give To Grow The Movement!
Posted By: C H
Thursday, September 23rd 2010 at 1:23AM
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This is part 1 of many future series on the late and great Ernest Withers. This particular show is an interview with Rome Withers as it relates to the latest allegations against his father, Ernest Withers. In order to know any facts, we must know our history. Let us start learning African American History 365 or 366 days a year.
Thursday, September 23rd 2010 at 1:25AM
If you have not listen to Part 1 of the Ernest Withers, please take the time to. This shows allows Rome Withers to speak about the latest allegations on his father.

We must start understanding and learning our history and then we can valida
Saturday, September 25th 2010 at 1:48PM
One of the sad things about the Withers situation is because African Americans do not know their history they allow themselves to believe in what the media or other tells them without getting the facts or evidence. It seems that throughout... this country that many of the people that we value as a big part our history their legacies are being destroyed.

We need to take value in our history so that we too can protect it from being changed to fit what others want it to be rather than the true in what it should be.

African American history is 365 or 366 days a year and should not only be highlighted in the month of February. If you are one of those who do not know your history, start learning your history so that you too can grow.See More
Saturday, September 25th 2010 at 1:48PM
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