The Pecan Press’s very own photo editor, Lizzie Chen, had the rare opportunity to assist former White House photographer David Hume Kennerly at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library on April 8-10th. Kennerly won a Pulitzer in 1972 in Feature Photograph for his Vietnam War portfolio. He has also photographed every American president since Richard Nixon.
At this event to mark the 50th year since President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, President Barack Obama was joined by former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
As Lizzie tells it, “What an experience this was! I definitely learned a lot from Kennerly and the team of LBJ photographers, including former White House photographer to George W. Bush, Eric Draper. As a photographer, I could not believe I would be editing the photos of photographers whom I admired so much. What I really took away from this experience is to shoot everything; you never know when you are capturing a moment that will become history.”
Besides assisting the White House photographers, Lizzie also had an opportunity to photograph a few of the speakers, including Dr. Bernice King, Martin Luther King’s daughter, Julian Bond, former chairman of the NAACP, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. “It was truly an honor,” she says, “to stand in front of our civil rights leaders and activists who formed a pathway to equality in America. I am still decompressing from this historical event. On the other hand, as Lyndon Johnson said in 1968, ‘We have come some of the way, not near all of it. There is much left to do.’”