Police Escorting African American Mothers with Grade School Kids


Cravens, Don




Don Cravens was an American photographer for Life magazine who began his career documenting World War II. He photographed the Normandy invasion and Nazi war crimes in France during the war, famously documented Elvis Presley backstage and on the road, and later covered the civil rights movement. “Police Escorting African American Mothers with Grade School Kids” was taken in 1957 and documents the conflict in America during the first steps toward integration. This photograph inspires dialogue about justice, power, social roles, race and ethnicity, learning, and leadership.

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Big Questions

What do we expect from the people we lead? What do we expect from our own leaders?Is my service effective? How do I know?


Taking Action

Sample Discussion Questions

  1. What is your first emotional reaction to this image?
  2. Which person(s) have power in this photograph?
  3. What kinds of injustice and justice do you see in the image?
  4. What social roles do you see in the image? Are the responsibilities for these social roles fulfilled or failed?
  5. Who are the leaders in this image? Are they successful leaders? Why or why not?
  6. What are the relationships between race, gender, profession, and power in this photograph?
  7. How do we lead others? What responsibilities do we have for those we lead?
  8. What responsibilities do those in power, professionally or socially, have?
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