On 17 June 1964 a 21-year-
old white boy boarded a Greyhound bus in Hartford, Connecticut. He was bound
for Jackson, Mississippi, the farthest he had ever been from home—geographically, culturally, and psychologically. He had with him a Honey-well Pentax H1-A camera, 28 and 55mm lenses of his own, a borrowed 135mm lens, money lent to him by Hillel at Yale and the Church of Christ at Yale, and a written invitation to call on Frank Barber, Governor Paul Johnson’s special assistant, when he arrived. He was on one bus or another for two-and-a-half days. He woke one morning to a beautiful and mysterious dawn in Ten-nessee, grey-green and misty. Approaching Jackson, the bus passed a woman hanging
wash on the front porch of her shack, and he noted in his journal that red dresses appeared some-how much redder on black women than on white.
–From the Introduction
I spent seven weeks in Mississippi in the summer of 1964—”Freedom Summer”—having been accepted to Yale’s Scholar of the House program for my senior year. While I felt an ideological and emotional kinship with the civil rights workers, I believed that there was another story to be told. In Mississippi, I was privileged to meet many wonderful people, white and black, who shared their feelings, their lives, their homes, and their time with me. I may have forgotten their names, but I will always remember their generosity and their courage. I am grateful and appreciative.
My advisors at Yale were Herbert Matter, Walker Evans, and Roger B. Salomon. The book that I crafted from that experience—And I Said No Lord—is being published by the University of Alabama Press in April 2014. It will be a particular joy and satisfaction to see it in print at last, 50 years after the experience.