The R. C. Hickman Photograph Collection, Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin
R.C. Hickman

R.C. Hickman, One of the Most Important Photographers in Dallas' History, Has Died

R.C. Hickman died at his Oak Cliff home Saturday; he was either 85 or 89, depending upon the source. A brief bio, courtesy the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin:

R.C. Hickman was born in the small East Texas town of Mineola, Texas, in 1922. During the Great Depression, the young R.C. moved with his father and brother to Dallas, Texas to earn money for his family. Hickman attended Austin's Tillotson College until the onset of World War II. His interest in photography developed during the war, and he soon earned credentials to become an official army photographer. After the war's end, he returned to Dallas and began a professional career as a photographer at the Dallas Star Post and completed freelance work for Jet magazine. Hickman also visually documented unequal school conditions for the NAACP, where his work often led him into dangerous conditions during the fight to end segregation. Hickman continues to reside in Dallas.

Hickman's work, from 1945 through 1970, has been collected at the Center for American History, and you might like to spend the morning browsing the collection of nearly 500 photos here and here . (His work can be found here, as well, on the Peabody Award-winning History of Jim Crow site.)

Then, try to find a copy of this book, essential in any Dallasite's home. In the book, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan wrote of Hickman's work: "These are images of the ordinary lives of extraordinary people who succeeded in spite of all the obstacles in their path, and who eventually demanded and, in important ways, won their rights. R.C. Hickman's photographs are important documents that capture a significant moment in twentieth-century American life." --Robert Wilonsky

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