Ernest Withersís photograph of a march in Memphis in 1968
after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Ernest C. Withers, Sr./Withers Family Trust
The Civil Rights Movement Photographer
Who Was Also an F.B.I. Informant
Jan. 18, 2019
Ernest C. Withers 1922-2007
one of the most
of the civil rights era
- and a paid F.B.I. informer
Starting in the early 1960s,
Withers had spent
nearly two decades
as a paid informant of the F.B.I.,
feeding its agents
information about the activists
He not only informed;
he took requests.
At one anti-Vietnam War march,
he was askedto photograph
all of the 30-odd protesters,
taking special care
to catch all their faces,
and he turned 80 8-by-10 prints
over to his F.B.I. contact.
On occasion, he sold his work
to a local paper,
then gave copies to the bureau.
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