The special relationship of photography to perceived reality makes it the perfect medium with which to influence public opinion and policy. Such has been the ultimate mandate of most documentary photography for a century and a half. Photography as a means of public persuasion relies on two basic strategies, the most common and familiar being exploiting the drama of victimhood and suffering. We need only think of Jacob Riis's flash illuminating the dark, crowded rooms of the late-nineteenth-century tenements in New York to cause public outrage about the living conditions of immigrants; or Lewis W. Hine's early 1900s photographic documentation of child labor, which alerted the public to the plight of the poor. Perhaps the best-known example of the dramatic rhetorical strategy is Walker Evans's photographs for the New Deal's Farm Security Administration to document the rural regions most affected by the Great Depression. What is characteristic about such representation of poverty and advocacy for the poor is that it is performed by photographers from outside the community, who stare intently at poverty as an aberrant state rather than experience it as everyday life. African-American photographer Roland L. Freeman, who spent over thirty years documenting the African diaspora, represents a different strategy-working from inside the community being represented. Typically, insider documantarists pursue a different goal, as well. Rather than to mobilize those in power by shocking them into guilt, they attempt to empower and energize the community from within, to give it a sense of dignity and an opportunity to effect change. The emphasis of Freeman's work is on the strength, resourcefulness, and intelligence of the community he knows well and belongs to. Besides documenting the African diaspora photographically, Freeman collects and records oral histories and folk traditions that reveal a vibrant creative life in spite of tragedy and despair. Roland Freeman's photographs on display in the Theater Gallery commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Poor People's Campaign. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called for the march on Washingon a few months before his assassination in 1968. Thousands of people traveled to Washington in caravans to eventually set up the tents of Resurrection City on the National Mall. They traveled in cars, buses, and trains from all parts of the United States. But the most remarkable caravan traveled by mule from Marks, Mississippi. As a young photographer Freeman joined the Mule Train to document its several-week-long journey. Thirty years later the participants of the Mule Train journey approached Freeman to commemorate the anniversary of the Poor People's March by publishing the photographs and showing them in museums around the country. The remarkable book and exhibition that resulted honors the legacy of the Mule Train participants and serves as a reminder that their work is unfinished. In Freeman's words: "We must rekindle their passion for change and our conscience to deal with poverty."