OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — An Owensboro native who was the first Black American to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism was celebrated Saturday night.
Moneta J. Sleet, Jr. spent years documenting the civil rights movement in America.
The “Through Sleet’s Eyes” festival was held at Owensboro’s RiverPark Center to highlight his work.
Sleet’s famous photos were on display for the public, including pictures of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.
Sleet spent years working for Ebony magazine as a staff photographer.
“He grew up in a time where segregation was prominent but he didn’t let it make him a negative person,” said festival chairman Emmy Woosley. “We just want to celebrate his story and make sure that everybody knows his name and sees the amazing photography that he did. But more importantly, that they’re inspired by his story and that they know they can do great things.”
Local high school bands and the Owensboro Men’s Mass Community Choir performed at the event. Some of Sleet’s surviving family members were also in attendance for the celebration.
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art will have some of Sleet’s work on display until July.
The museum is free and open to the public.