Photojournalist R. C. Hickman presented a wide-ranging but rarely seen visual social history of Black American life during the Civil Rights Era, and provided key photographic evidence for NAACP civil rights cases.
As a soldier in World War II, Hickman learned how to take and develop photographs and became an Army photographer. After the war, Hickman documented life in Dallas’s black community for 30 years. As a photographer for the NAACP, he documented unequal conditions in black and white schools during black Texans' long efforts to end segregation. “Each time the NAACP took a school district to court that called themselves ‘separate but equal,’ we proved through my photographs that the schools were certainly segregated, but not equal.”
Over 700 of R. C. Hickman's photographs can be viewed online in the R. C. Hickman digital collection of the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.
Except from an interview with R. C. Holder about his work as a photographer. - The story of how he went from learning about taking pictures “in a foxhole” to helping to combat segregation with his photos.
Black photographers and the civil rights struggle - Profile of the photographic work of R.C. Hickman and Calvin Littlejohn.