MLK casket photo published by ‘Newsweek,’ blasted by Bernice King and others

Photo: [email protected] (run by Rev. Bernice King)

The Rev. Bernice King, the daughter of Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., was outraged by a Newsweek social media photo of a dead MLK laying in his casket.

The magazine later deleted the photo and apologized after the enormous backlash.

The original tweet had accompanied an article titled, “Has Anybody Here Seen My Old Friend Martin?” The article details the upcoming 50th anniversary of the assassinations of Dr. King (April 4, 1968) and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (June 4, 1968). This year also marks the 55th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963 and the 155th anniversary of the killing of Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

“Why, Newsweek? Wow,” Bernice King tweeted shortly after the Newsweek photo of her father was brought to her attention.

Bernice King later went live on social media yesterday to discuss the incident.

“Today I saw where Newsweek published this insensitive image of my father,” she said.

The youngest child of Martin and Coretta Scott King urged the media to consider King’s family before sharing images of the civil rights activist, particularly in anticipation of the 50th anniversary commemorations.

“We must never forget that Dr. King was a husband and was a father so we deal all the time just with continuing to manage our father and the great work that he’s done…so it was difficult,” she said of seeing the image.

Newsweek has since apologized for the “insensitive image” and deleted the social media post.

“Earlier this afternoon we published an opinion piece with an insensitive image of Martin Luther King Jr. We sincerely apologize to the King family for this egregious error,” the statement said from Newsweek.

“I want to thank Newsweek for immediately responding and removing the image and for giving an apology. Apology accepted,” she said.

Some folks, however, are not so forgiving. Memphis native DJ Paul and others want heads to roll like bowling balls for this egregious error of judgement. Paul considers the day of the assassination and the famous Lorraine Motel in Memphis – where King was gunned down – to be sacred. Paul believes the magazine is guilty of what might be the worst-timed clickbait ever — with the MLK holiday coming next week.

Bernice King said her father’s death nearly 50 years ago still feels fresh.

Terry Shropshire
Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.

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