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December 2017 Featured Photographer of the Month

Dreambook: Five Square Blocks in Montgomery, Alabama

Carolyn Beller | United States

Room where some of 18 freedom riders stayed before the 1965 Freedom March.

These photographs represent the landscape and people who live in approximately five square blocks of the neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama where the 1955 Bus Boycott was organized and implemented. It was where the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March began and ended. It was home to many well known leaders of the civil rights movement like Rosa Parks, E.D. Nixon, and Martin Luther King; but it was also home to other lesser known people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Some of those people, like Lucille Times, still live there. Lucille marched from Selma to Montgomery. She gave refuge to 18 freedom riders. She has kept a diary of her dreams and visions during that time and after and called it "My Dreambook". It is a place where the birth and death of dreams continually seem to ebb and flow. A place where religion casts an aura of magical realism across long, hot days when very little ever seems to change and yet it was a place that changed everything.

Lucille Times, author of "My Dreambook"

I was born in Montgomery, Alabama in December of 1955, 26 days after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat in the front of a Montgomery city bus. I left Montgomery for college in 1974 only returning for family visits until I began this project in 2011. I wanted to explore what it was about that particular neighborhood and it's people in my old hometown...a  place I had never even visited while growing up in Montgomery... that gave birth to the ideas and dreams that would shape the civil rights movement. 

Carolyn Beller
chowbeller@yahoo.com
847 989-6819

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