The 1960s were a quintessential and inarguable turning point in contemporary American history, rife with political, economical, and racial vehemence that beget a nation and generation eager to explore a new social frontier. With movements that included Civil Rights leaders and anti-Vietnam War activists, East Harlem native Benedict J. Fernandez, a photojournalist, street photographer and documentarian, found himself embedded in the thick of the action equipped with only an innately gifted photographic eye and a 35mm camera. Fernandez's work is unapologetic and confrontational, allotting the viewer to become consumed by an almost unmediated reflection of the time. As his oeuvre grew, Fernandez met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr at Central Park in 1967, and became one of the select few photographers to have close access during King's Civil Rights speeches.
Be sure to check out Fernandez's work in “The ’60s: Decade of Change”, on view at the Bronx Documentary Center in New York City until July 20.
text by Algernon Felice Jr