North Texas Photographer R.C. Hickman Known for Powerful Civil Rights Era Photos

During Black History Month, NBC 5 is taking a closer look at the men and women who broke barriers and the people shaping the future for North Texas

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R.C. Hickman (1922-2007) is still known for his powerful photographs in the Civil Rights era, documenting the African American community in Dallas.

Hickman died in Dallas on Dec. 1, 2007, but his legacy lives on in the pictures he shared with the world. A true record of the time when African Americans were fighting for equal treatment on the backs of North Texas Civil Rights icons such as Juanita Craft and Elsie Faye Heggins.

Hickman joined the Army when he was old enough and at that time, found an interest in photography. It was during World War II that he became an official Army photographer. Once the war ended, he went back to Dallas where he grew up and started as a photographer with the Dallas Star Post, an African American owned newspaper.

As word started to spread about Hickman’s talent, so did his popularity. He worked for the NAACP documenting inequality in Dallas. Some of his work documenting school segregation was used for the NAACP’s court cases as they tried to integrate school districts across North Texas.

A lot of Hickman’s work can be found in "Behold the People: R.C. Hickman’s Photographs of Black Dallas," published by The Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, the University of Texas at Austin contributed to this report.

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