Coretta Scott King, Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta


Flip Schulke (American, 1930–2008)




Gelatin silver print


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Gift of Gloria and Paul Sternberg

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A sheer mourning veil frames Coretta Scott King’s elegant profile in this photograph taken at the funeral of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her expression reveals a poignant combination of sorrow and peace. Chin lifted, eyes gazing forward, lips forming a fragile smile, King radiates a sense of otherworldly hope, even in the face of enormous tragedy. Her husband, a key leader in the civil rights movement, was assassinated in Memphis in 1968. Photojournalist Flip Schulke covered an array of subjects, from the Cuban Revolution to space launches, from John F. Kennedy to Muhammad Ali. After forming a deep friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Schulke documented America’s civil rights movement from a uniquely personal perspective. He took over half a million photographs, including 11,000 of King and his family. This intimate portrait of grief reveals Schulke’s insight.