Collierville Library: Memphis photographer, Dr. Ernest C. Withers

Withers’ son, Andrew “Rome” Withers, was on hand to talk about his father’s important work and to sign copies of his book about his mother Dorothy Mae Withers.

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. – The Collierville Burch Library hosted a special event on Saturday, showcasing the work of legendary Memphis photographer Dr. Ernest C. Withers.

Withers’ son, Andrew “Rome” Withers, was on hand to talk about his father’s important work and to sign copies of his book “The Boss of Ernest C. Withers” about his mother Dorothy Mae Withers.

Dr. Withers worked for decades as a photojournalist, documenting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s, and photographing many celebrities of the time, including BB King, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Jackie Robinson, and Eartha Kitt.

“He was a person who wanted to serve the community in a way that people could understand what was going on. Current events,” said Andrew Withers. “He was definitely about figuring out how to bring people together and how to capture moments that people can see based on his tagline – pictures tell the story. And that’s what he wanted to do, take a picture where the photo would tell the story.

Andrew Withers said his father would have turned 100 this year and his mother would have turned 100 next year. The family hopes that the Withers house will soon be designated a historic monument.

Visitors are always welcome at the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery on Beale Street, where Andrew Withers said he helped his father develop many of his pictures decades ago.

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