He documented the civil rights movement and subjects as diverse as narcotics users, migrant workers and movie stars, seeking to capture their emotional heart.
Steve Schapiro, a photojournalist and social documentarian who bore witness to some of the nation’s most significant political and cultural moments and movements, starting in the 1960s with the historic struggle for racial equality across the Jim Crow South, died on Jan. 15 at his home in Chicago. He was 87.
First published in 1963, James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time stabbed at the heart of America’s so-called “Negro problem.” As remarkable for its masterful prose as it is for its frank and personal account of the black experience in the United States, it is considered one of the most passionate and influential explorations of 1960s race relations, weaving thematic threads of love, faith, and family into a candid assault on the hypocrisy of the “land of the free.” It is now republished by Taschen.
Steve Schapiro’s rarely-seen photographs of the historic march.
The nonviolent discipline of the marchers, the subject of a new film by Ava DuVernay, and portrayed here in Steve Schapiro’s photographs of the Selma-to-Montgomery march, became such a resonant chapter in the black freedom struggle that Barack Obama, in 2007, went to Selma to speak, at Brown Chapel, just weeks after declaring for the Presidency
TIME LightBox talks to Steve Schapiro as part of our series ‘The Photo That Made Me,’ in which photographers tell us about the one photograph they made that they believe jump-started their career, garnered them international attention, or simply sparked an interest in photography.
For years, Steve Schapiro was a photographer for LIFE magazine. Francis Ford Coppola noticed Schapiro’s work in 1972 and invited him to take pictures on the set of The Godfather, then continued with The Godfather II, The Godfather III, The Great Gatsby, Taxi Driver and Chinatown, among others. Schapiro worked extensively on the subject of cultural changes in American society in the 1960s and ‘70s.