Everybody Thought We Were Crazy: Dennis Hopper, Brooke Hayward, and 1960s Los Angeles by Mark Rozzo:
Dennis mentioned to Southern that Marlon Brando had invited him to fly to Alabama to join the march with Martin Luther King, Jr., from Selma to Montgomery. “Hopper, take care!” Southern cautioned; having grown up in the segregationist South, he knew the potential dangers. “You are spreading yourself thin—in this case, perhaps down to the proverbial mincemeat!”
Dennis flew down, likely during the final phase of the march, two weeks after the Bloody Sunday melee at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, when mounted police had brutalized the mostly Black marchers, sparking national outrage. As at Washington in 1963, a sizable contingent from the entertainment community arrived, most of them marching by day and then returning to a hotel at night, including Nina Simone, Leonard Bernstein, Joan Baez, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Harry Belafonte, who organized a “Stars for Freedom” rally and concert the night of March 24. Dennis, aside from photographing Dr. King (a stunning shot of the leader speaking at a podium bristling with microphones), focused his Nikon on the rank-and-file marchers: African American boys carrying the Stars and Stripes, white marchers clustered beneath a makeshift U.S. HISTORIANS sign, folks gathered on the porches of shotgun shacks, a group under the airport’s grimly iconic WELCOME TO MONTGOMERY sign. The images have the feel of photojournalism if it were practiced by Robert Frank or Walker Evans.