Photographer Bob Fitch visited the Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB) University Center Feb. 28 to present “My Eyes Have Seen: Dr. Martin Luther King and the Black Civil Rights Movement”.
Fitch has had an illustrious career as a photojournalist. He was originally trained to be an engineer, then a Protestant minister. However, his calling turned out to be photography. “Photojournalism seduced me. It is a compelling combination of visual aesthetics, potent communication and story telling,” Fitch said.
Fitch’s photography has become iconic. He has photographed historic figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. One of Fitch’s photographs is the basis of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which opened in Washington, D.C. in 2011. Another was the basis of the Cesar Chavez memorial stamp released in 2003.
Fitch worked as a photographer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the 1960s. The SCLC was a central institution in the civil rights movement. It is closely associated with King Jr., who was the organization’s first president from 1957 to his assassination in 1968.
It was at this time Fitch took most of his photography of King Jr. This photography was presented on Feb. 28. The photography presented was a mix of Fitch’s most famous photographs and some which had rarely been displayed before.
Many local students, faculty members, and community members attended the free event. Most were familiar of Fitch’s work. Some had the opportunity to discover Fitch was the photographer of their most beloved photography of the civil rights leader.
Fitch currently lives in Watsonville and remains active in his community.