Flip Schulke: An Extraordinary Life

Legendary Black Star photographer Flip Schulke died at age 77 of congestive heart failure last month. Flip will be best remembered as one of the foremost chroniclers of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the U.S. civil rights movement. Here are quotes and anecdotes from a few of the articles published upon Flip’s passing, which we hope will inspire you to click the links and learn more.

The Washington Post:

In 1965, he was with King during the famous Selma, Ala., march, when several protesters were severely beaten by police. King had invited him to photograph the planning session for the march.

As Mr. Schulke recalled for the Sun-Sentinel, a prominent civil rights leader in the meeting questioned the presence of a white man.

“I have known this man for years,” King told his colleague. “I don’t care if Flip is purple with yellow polka dots, he is a human being and I know him better than I know a lot of black people. I trust him. He stays and that’s it.”

Roxy Kaufman, Flip’s sister, in Bermuda’s Royal Gazette:

He always looked out for the underdog and he always felt sensitive about did we deserve to have what we had. I think that feeling generated at a very young age and blossomed into his becoming a freelance photographer and an activist, before it was fashionable, I might add.

Donna Schulke, Flip’s fourth wife, in the Palm Beach Post:

I called him The Legend … He saw so many changes, he always said he lived in the greatest time in modern history.

Marianne Fulton in The Digital Journalist:

Thanks to dedicated photojournalists like Flip Schulke we can better appreciate the danger and the struggle of our own times which is just what he wanted.

Don Carleton, executive director of The Center for American History at UT-Austin, where Flip donated his collection of more than 500,000 images:

Dr. King allowed Mr. Schulke to take candid photos of his daily life, making the Schulke archive an outstanding research and teaching resource for the history of the civil rights movement.

Flip’s work is also part of a Black Star photography exhibit running at the Canadian Embassy Art Gallery in Washington, D.C., through Aug. 29. It’s called “50 Years of American Photojournalism: 1939-1989.”

[tags]photojournalism, Flip Schulke [/tags]

Leave a Reply