Beginning in the mid-1940s, Dallas newspaper and commercial photographer Marion Butts, Sr. (1924-2002), recorded various facets of African-American community life in Dallas for almost sixty years. The rich collection documents not only segregation and civil rights events, but also the community’s business, civic, religious, educational, and social life, as well as, visits by national leaders and celebrity entertainers.
The Butts Collection consists of approximately 58,377 photographic negatives, both black & white and color images, dating from the mid-1940s through the 1990s. Among these are a group of several hundred pivotal images depicting segregation, civil rights, NAACP activities, early African-American elected officials, and demonstrations in Dallas. Among the images are pictures of the first black students admitted to Southern Methodist University, Thurgood Marshall and NAACP efforts in Dallas, the first black physicians given privileges at a white hospital, and the first black police officers to join the Dallas police force during the twentieth century.
Join us on February 27th for Lunch and Learn to explore more of the Dallas Public Library’s Marion Butts Collection, or come in today to see the exhibit Celebrating a Community – Historic Black Dallas on the 7th floor of the Central Library, featuring several Marion Butts images. You can also visit the Marion Butts Collection’s Online Exhibit anytime.