Sunday, October 11, 2009

Marty Forscher

The obit du jour that caught my eye is for Marty Forscher, "Tended Cameras and Owners." Like Gerald Gardner who I wrote about back in July and used data for causes he believed in, Mr. Forscher was also aware that his own particular skill could be used for social change.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Forscher began begging discarded cameras from magazines, fixing them and sending them South. There, members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee used them to document the civil rights movement in images published in newspapers and magazines around the world. Some were of signal events, like Bloody Sunday — March 7, 1965 — when state troopers beat black marchers in Selma, Ala. Others captured small daily victories, like a black child learning to read at a Mississippi Freedom School.

When the cameras were dashed to the ground or drenched by police fire hoses, Mr. Forscher repaired them and sent them back again.

Isn't that magnificent? I love this example that the gifts we have been given can be used to serve God in the world, if we are creative and generous with them.

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