University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Professor Dr. David J. Garrow Comments On Perceptions Of Ferguson Crisis In New York Times

Publish Date/Time: 
August 15, 2014

AP Photo

In The New York Times story Ferguson Images Evoke Civil Rights Era and Changing Visual Perceptions, Pitt Law Professor Dr. David J. Garrow offered analysis of the war of images over the protests and police clashes in Ferguson, MO in response to the police shooting and killing unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The story observes that the general population’s interpretation of the events in Ferguson is shaped more by who they follow on Twitter and Facebook, or what filters they have set when they search for information on the crisis. The story notes “David J. Garrow, a historian at the University of Pittsburgh’s law school and the author of several books on the civil rights movement, noted that when he searched for images of Ferguson on Google, roughly half showed what appeared to be looting. Such images look “more like Watts in 1965 or Newark in 1967, not Birmingham in 1963 or Selma in 1965,” Dr. Garrow said in the story. And historically, he said, such photos were “deadly when it came to white public opinion.”

Read the New York Times story Ferguson Images Evoke Civil Rights Era and Changing Visual Perceptions.

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