US Representative William J. Green, Jr., Philadelphia Mayor James H.J. Tate, US President John F. Kennedy, and US Senator Joseph S. Clark from Pennsylvania at an Independence Hall Fourth of July celebration

Date
July 4, 1962
Medium
Photography
Credit Line
John W. Mosley Photograph Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA.

Flanked by Philadelphia Mayor James H.J. Tate (1910–1983) and US Rep. William J. Green, Jr. (1910–1963) on the left and US Senator Joseph S. Clark (1901–1990) from Pennsylvania on the right, President John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) observes a ceremony at Independence Hall on July 4, 1962. Snipers hover on the roof nearby. The young Philadelphia police officer at center below is Alphonso Boyer, who joined the force in 1958. Despite the aura of the young President Kennedy and the presence of the high-ranking officials, Mosley focuses his attention on the young officer, whose job it is to protect.

Speaking about the photographer, Woodmere Director William Valerio comments, “Here is where I feel that Mosley is expressing a point of view. For me, the photograph focuses on this black police officer. We know from his white hat that he is a traffic officer. There’s a big, larger-than-life world going on around the officer, but he is cool and collected and he looks at Mosley’s camera directly. People are having conversations above. To the left is a state trooper, to the right is a motorcycle officer, but at center, the clear focus of the photograph is the young black policeman. You know that Independence Hall is a building of great historic importance. Here’s the president of the United States with other city officials, leaders of the country. I think Mosley is saying here’s another leader of our country—this young man who is stepping forward.”

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