Harlem exhibit shows an intimate side of MLK on the civil rights hero’s 90th birthday

January 18, 2019

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta being greeted by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (left) and labor leader A. Philip Randolph (right) at the Pan American World Airways terminal, in New York City: Image: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. (1950 – 1959).

Open as of January 15, a new photography exhibit titled, “Crusader: Martin Luther King Jr.” at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center considers Reverend King as man, traveler and friend. The show offers an intimate travelogue of the civil rights leader’s visits to India, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance in Oslo, Norway, and work as a crusader for non-violent civil rights action, captured by noted photographers of the day.

The images on display, chosen from the Schomburg Center’s Photographs and Prints Division, show a side King in his life, in travel, at rest and in celebration–a contrast to most popular iconic photography of the leader in his leadership role.

The show’s title was taken from 1959 biography of King, “Crusader Without Violence,” published by Dr. L.D. Reddick. Reddick was curator of the Schomburg Center collection after Arturo Schomburg and a friend of Reverend King’s. The exhibit will be displayed through April 6 in the Schomburg Center’s Latimer/Edison Gallery at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard.


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