Doris Derby's photographic archive offers a powerful perspective on the civil rights movement that has yet to be critically or academically engaged with. Derby, an activist, photographer, and educator who has appeared in such texts as Hands on the Freedom Plow (2010) and in such collections as Julian Cox's Road to Freedom (2008), is a gateway figure to a richer, more nuanced visual history of the movement. This article utilizes original interviews, archival material, and a survey of secondary literature to call for increased consideration for Doris Derby's work. Derby's womanist perspective challenges the dominant visual rhetoric of the movement and advocates for increased consideration of the everyday activism of African American women. Men, women and children – but especially African American women – are presented in Derby's lens as dynamic agents of change. Derby's work challenges the dominant canon of the movement, which frequently relies on charismatic male leadership and black victimization. Instead, considering Derby's photography broadens our understanding of what everyday resistance in the civil rights movement was like for thousands of African Americans.