Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jan Roddy  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction


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Illinois Connection

Roddy graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is currently an Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jan Roddy is the author and collborator with Preston Ewing on Let ''My People Go: Cairo, Illinois, 1967-1973:Civil Rights Photographs'', a book about the civil rights struggles in Cairo's history.Roddy has been at Southern Illinois University Carbondale since 1988. She is currently an Associate Professor, Director Graduate Studies of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts Department of Cinema & Photography.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Let my people go :
ISBN: 0809320851. OCLC Number: 34475225

Southern Illinois University Press,. .

When a young African American soldier at home on leave was found hanged in a Cairo, Illinois, police station in 1967, the black and white populations of this historic southern Illinois river city clashed violently. Once ignited, their fury raged on for seven years. Preston Ewing Jr. and Jan Peterson Roddy combine on-the-scene photography, archival material, and eyewitness narration to document a time of danger and change played out at the crossroads between America's deep South and her midwestern heartland. At the core of this book are 110 remarkable black-and-white photographs by Ewing, selected from the thousands he made while serving as local NAACP president in Cairo. These images, by turns tender, brutal, somber, and heroic, record the archetypal American theme of ordinary people fighting for justice. They comprise a compelling personal portrait of the bravery and persistent faith of individuals caught up in one of the defining historical and social movements of this century. Excerpts from participants' oral histories illuminate Ewing's photographs and combine with news clippings, public documents, and essays by Marva Nelson and Cherise Smith to put the attitudes, events, and images of Cairo in a national context and examine photography's unique position in presenting and preserving history.

Additional Title Information

  • Let My People Go: Cairo, Illinois, 1967-1973: Civil rights photographs

    , Southern Illinois University, 1996

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)