Bernie Sanders Leads 1962 Sit-in

In 1962  I was the student photographer at the University of Chicago, making pictures for the yearbook, the Alumni Magazine and the student paper, The Maroon. By the summer of 1962 I had taken my camera  into the deep South, and become the first photographer for SNCC.

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In January of 1962,  at the University of Chicago, there was a sit-in inside the administration building protesting discrimination against blacks in university owned housing. I went to it with a CORE activist and friend. The sit in was in a crowded hallway, blocking the entrance to the office of Dr. George Beadle, the chancellor.


I took the photograph of Bernie Sanders speaking to his fellow CORE members at that sit-in. Bob McNamara, a close friend and CORE activist, is in the very corner next to me in the picture. Across the room from me is another campus photographer named Wexler, who taught me how to develop film. I photographed Bernie a second time after he got a haircut, as he appeared next to the noble laureate and chancellor Dr. George Beadle. Time Magazine is now claiming it is not Bernie in the picture but someone else. It is Bernie, and it is proof of his very early dedication to justice for African Americans. The CORE sit-in that Bernie helped lead was the first civil rights sit-in to take place in  the North.


11 Responses to “Bernie Sanders Leads 1962 Sit-in”
  1. Ira churgin says:

    Bravo, Danny.

  2. Builder Levy says:

    Thanks, Danny, for your inspiring writing about Bernie. In addition, I loved your online film clip from your film Five Days –the music is beautiful! Looking forward to your Whitney Museum of Art exhibition.

  3. Uhh… Bayard Rustin sent James Farmer to Chicago to organize students at UC two decades earlier. In 1942 they sat in at Jack Spratt’s, 1237 E 47th Street. And that was after a previous sit-in that integrated a cafeteria downtown. Gergle “Jack Spratt sit-in” for details. In the fifties, there were further sit-ins as Chicago integrated its beaches.

  4. Miranda Malcolm says:

    Thank you for standing up for Bernie. I lived with a photographer years ago, and know how important your work is, to you and to the rest of us. My husband had his slides filed and stored in a safe place, and never forgot the the details. I saw a Wikipedia page documenting the sit-in, including your photo; you might want to correct the caption.

  5. dektol says:

    Reblogged this on Bleak Beauty Blog and commented:


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