Newspaper’s Revelation Rocks Civil Rights Photographer Ernest C. Withers’ Family

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MEMPHIS (AP).- The startling revelation that a revered civil rights photographer also was an FBI informant who tipped investigators about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others has left his children denying he was a snitch and spurred some movement veterans to try to explain why he might have helped the feds. This was to be the season when the late civil rights photographer Ernest C. Withers would be honored for his historic work, with his photos displayed at a museum bearing his name. Instead, an investigation by The Commercial Appeal unmasked him as an informant who regularly tipped authorities about civil rights movement participants from at least 1968 to 1970. “Personally, and as a family, we do not believe what has been alleged. It still has to be proven,”