Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Ernest C. Withers House

Marker ID: THC 4E 180
Location: 480 West Brooks Road, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 3.83    W 090° 4.797
  35.06383333    -90.07995
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Ernest C. Withers House

Ernest C. Withers (1922-2007) began his career as a photographer in the U. S. Army during World War II. Upon leaving the military, he opened a commercial photography studio and worked as a freelance photojournalist for Black newspapers and magazines such as Ebony and Jet, as well as Newsweek and Time. He photographed Negro Baseball League members including Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Larry Doby, and Jackie Robinson. In 1955, Withers documented the trial of the two white men, J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, accused in the murder of Emmett Till. In 1957 he photographed the nine Black students who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Occasionally Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended some of the events he covered. He took pictures of Memphis' famed Beale Street musicians, Rufus Thomas, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley. His work also captured the more ordinary life of Black Memphians.

Tennessee Historical Commission