- Associated Press - Saturday, May 28, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta in the 1970s was way stranger than we remember.

The Old South pushed up against a New Age; hippies gathered in Piedmont Park and gay pride marchers ventured to Peachtree Street. A political revolution brought African Americans into power while an economic sea change brought money to the whole region.

Boyd Lewis, once described as the “white boy with the black press,” stayed busy documenting the upstart town, as a reporter and photographer with the Atlanta Voice and the Atlanta Inquirer and as an editor, reporter, anchor and producer with public radio station WABE.

Lewis recently donated 15,000 images to the Atlanta History Center, adding to a gift he made in 1985, bringing the total to 25,000 images, plus some audio tapes and other items. The fascinating exhibit, “Flashback: Atlanta in the 70s, The Photography of Boyd Lewis,” currently showing at the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown, is drawn from this archive.

The show includes 60 images and three videos and will be on display until next January.

Among the classic images that Lewis captured:

.A marcelled Maynard Jackson at his elaborate inaugural, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performing behind him.

.Krishna Consciousness devotees, clad in dhotis and high-top Converse sneakers, joyfully banging their two-headed drums in Piedmont Park.

.A fabulous gay pride cohort, awash in feathers and parasols, waving from the windows, roof, bed and hood of a blue pickup truck.

In 1997 Boyd moved to Los Angeles to teach high school and middle school. Now retired, Lewis said he found teaching as rewarding as journalism. “You’d get the fulfillment and feedback every day you walked into the classroom.”

Lewis’ curiosity was tireless, and the result of his watchfulness is this colorful record. “There were better photographers than I, more evocative audio artists and God knows, more story-telling writers,” Lewis said recently. “But I can’t think of anyone else who did it all.”


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, https://www.ajc.com

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