Interesting report on legendary civil rights photographer Earnest C. Withers, who evidently, was informing on the movement for the FBI:


On Sunday, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis published the results of a two-year investigation that showed Mr. Withers, who died in 2007 at age 85, had collaborated closely with two F.B.I. agents in the 1960s to keep tabs on the civil rights movement. It was an astonishing revelation about a former police officer nicknamed the Original Civil Rights Photographer, whose previous claim to fame had been the trust he engendered among high-ranking civil rights leaders, including Dr. King. 

 "It is an amazing betrayal," said Athan Theoharis, a historian at Marquette University who has written books about the F.B.I. "It really speaks to the degree that the F.B.I. was able to engage individuals within the civil rights movement. This man was so well trusted."

Beyond Withers, I think it's worth noting the extent to which the FBI, under a crazed J. Edgar Hoover, didn't just mobilize against "militants" like Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, but against nonviolent integrationists like Martin Luther King. Perhaps no one drove Hoover crazier than King.

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