Historic photos document Martin Luther King Jr.’s connection to NYC

Posted On Fri, January 12, 2018 By

Posted On Fri, January 12, 2018 By In Features, History, The urban lens

Dr. Benjamin Spock, Dr. King and Monsignor Rice of Pittsburgh march in the Solidarity Day Parade at the United Nations building (April 15, 1967);Photo by Benedict J. Fernadez, courtesy of MCNY

The Museum of the City of New York on Saturday will launch King in New York, a photo exhibition that explores the relationship between Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and New York City. The collection, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of King’s death, provides a look into the iconic civil rights leader’s time spent in the city, starting in the 1950s and continuing through the aftermath of his assassination in 1986. New York, as the country’s media capital, allowed MLK to broadcast his words and messages to both local and global audiences, hold national press conferences and speak to influential advocacy and political groups. He gave sermons at the Riverside Church in Morningside Heights and marched to the United Nations in protest against the Vietnam war. Following his death, thousands of New Yorkers marched in Harlem and Midtown to a Central Park concert to mourn together and the city named parks, playgrounds and streets in his honor. King in New York will be on view from Saturday, Jan. 13 to June 1, 2018.

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressing a crowd at the United Nations. Here he made his speech declaring the war in Vietnam a racist war before an estimated 500,000 people (April 15, 1967);Courtesy of MCNY

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
“While he was surrounded by the crowd before his speech at the United Nations on April 15, 1967, I dropped to my knees and caught Dr. King in a moment of deep thought,” Benedict J. Fernadez, the photographer, said. Courtesy of MCNY

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
The program for New York City’s “Community Salute” to Martin Luther King Jr (Dec. 17, 1964); Courtesy of MCNY

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
MLK and Mrs. Du Bois Peck, only grandaughter of W.E.B. Du Bois, at the (Freedomways) reception after the Du Bois Centennial Tribute at Carnegie Hall (Feb. 23 1968); Courtesy of Builder Levy/ MCNY

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Martin Luther King at Reception after the W.E.B. Du Bois Centennial Tribute at Carnegie Hall where he gave the keynote speech (Feb. 23, 1968); Courtesy of Builder Levy/MCNY

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Martin Luther King Jr. with Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Coretta Scott King, and A. Philip Randolph; Photo by Austin Hansen, courtesy of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL and Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Martin Luther King Jr. with Harry Belafonte and George Goodman taping interview (1957); Photo by Austin Hansen, courtesy of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL and Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Martin Luther King Jr. presides over Prayer Pilgrimage (1957); Photo by Austin Hansen, courtesy of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL and Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Girl holding photograph of Martin Luther King at Memorial March (1968); Photo by Austin Hansen, courtesy of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL and Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Martin Luther King with Coretta Scott King and Ralph Bunche at the United Nations (Dec. 4, 1964); Courtesy of Daily Worker/Daily World Photographs Collection, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Archives, New York University

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at the W.E.B. Du Bois Centennial Tribute (Feb. 23, 1968); Courtesy of Daily Worker/Daily World Photographs Collection, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Archives, New York University

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
From left: John Lewis, Whitney Young, A. Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, and Roy Wilkins meet at Hotel Commodore to plan March on Washington (July 2, 1963); Courtesy of Library of Congress

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Rev. Martin Luther King at press conference at Gracie Mansion (July 30, 1964); Photo by Dick DeMarsico, courtesy of Library of Congress

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King outside Harlem Hospital (1958); Courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery

MLK Day, Martin Luther King Jr., MCNY
Martin Luther King Jr. with Archbishop of New York Francis Joseph Cardinal Spellman and Governor Nelson Rockefeller at the New York Civil War Centennial Commission (Sept. 12, 1962); Courtesy of New York State Archives

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