MLK's Mother Was Assassinated, Too: The Forgotten Women Of Black History Month

On June 30th, 1973, Alberta Williams King was gunned down while she played the organ for the “Lord’s Prayer” at Ebenezer Baptist Church. As a Christian civil rights activist, she was assassinated…just like her son, Martin Luther King, Jr. But most people remember only one. Until a month ago, I was one of those people.

euro-peein asked:

That pic of MLK flippin the bird is a photoshopped, he was throwing up a peace sign. Just fyi

Thanks for the note. One of my friends alerted me to this about 30 minutes after I posted it earlier today and I took it down immediately and placed this post up (with a real image) in its place. I just came back home from watching “Selma” and see that despite my efforts earlier in the day to rectify this, that the original post took off and now has over 32,000 notes (and climbing), while my corrected post only has 1,000.

This was the image from that incorrect post:

And this is the real image © AP:

External image

Note that these two images tell two completely different stories, based on the offensive, inappropriate hack photoshop job done to make it look like MLK was flipping off the camera (which I used in my post).

On a day when we are recalling the misconstrued legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and in a post talking about reclaiming his true legacy, I used an inappropriately doctored image of MLK. It ultimately doesn’t matter that I didn’t know that the image was doctored when I first posted it or that I deleted the post as soon as I found out. That post is now feeding into the damaging appropriation and obfuscation of the true legacy of King and the values he stood for. I am sorry for this, but my apology won’t change the fact that thousands of people now have a skewed image of King due to that post.

So all I ask is the following to try and alleviate some of this damage:

Please REBLOG this post. And if you see that post of mine with MLK flipping the middle finger come across your dashes, please ADD commentary calling it out as fake and LINK to this post.

For reference: this is the corrected version of that post

Sorry again. I have a responsibility as a content producer with a large platform on this site to check my sources more carefully, and I will be working on being more diligent about that going forward. Also thanks to everyone who pointed this issue out to me and to the people who are on that post calling it out as fake. Your efforts to combat the misinformation caused by my mistake are greatly appreciated.



This MLK Day I remember not the “sanitized,” white washed, hollowed out version of King that white people have turned into a puppet of white supremacy. Instead, the King I remember and give homage to today was the radical anti-capitalist who led the Poor People’s Campaign before his murder. I remember the anti-imperialist who worked with Thich Nhat Hanh and called the US government the “greatest purveyor of violence” on Earth, and forcefully condemned the War in Vietnam. I remember a King who NEVER condemned rioting as a form of resistance because he understood that using non-violence only worked in certain contexts and was just one tactic of many in dismantling white supremacy. And I remember the King who was one of the most hated men in white America on the eve of his death and who was assassinated by the US government for his radical anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-white supremacist message. We must #‎ReclaimMLK‬ today and in the process #‎ReclaimOURstory‬ as well.

I’ve come upon something that disturbs me deeply: We have fought hard and long for integration, as I believe we should have, and I know that we will win. But I’ve come to believe we’re integrating into a burning house.

I’m afraid that America may be losing what moral vision she may have had. And I’m afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be deeply concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. Until we commit ourselves to ensuring that the underclass is given justice and opportunity, we will continue to perpetuate the anger and violence that tears at the soul of this nation.

Martin Luther King Jr. to Harry Belafonte shortly before his assassination

This contains a reference to a poignant line by James Baldwin from The Fire Next Time, “Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?” 

Important food for thought as MLK’s legacy and activism continues to be distorted.

This is one of my absolute favorite shots of Dr Rev Martin Luther King Jr. It brings together the Jewish Community with the African American Community both struggling for Civil Rights. On the left is Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and in the center Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath. Both incredibly important Rabbis who were working to make this world and this country a more beautiful place.

In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was drafted in a Conference Room in the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism by leaders within the Jewish and African American Communities.

One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King (and is incredibly fitting) is “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Let’s live the dream!