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Photograph by:
Horace C. Henry, American, born 1948  Search this
Subject of:
Unidentified Man or Men  Search this
Unidentified Woman or Women  Search this
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1906  Search this
Printed by:
Unidentified  Search this
ink on paper
H x W: 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm)
inkjet prints
Place depicted:
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States, North and Central America
January 15, 1969; printed 2011
Mourners gathered at Southview Cemetery after the memorial service. Many people came to visit Dr. King's tomb. Southview Cemetery on Jonesboro Road was Dr. King's original burial site. His tomb was later relocated to Auburn Avenue, where both Dr. King and his wife Coretta are entombed today.
This black and white photograph was taken the day of the first commemorative event for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday in 1969. The photograph shows a group of unidentified people visiting King's original burial site at South-View Cemetery. There are a few men at proper right, one of whom is facing the tomb. The other is turned toward another individual who is mostly obscured in the image. An unidentified man and woman are standing behind the grave.
The large white marble tomb reads [REV MARTIN LUTHER KING JR / 1929-1968 / "FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, / THANK GOD ALMIGHTY I'M FREE AT LAST."] There is a space in front of the headstone that is filled with small pebbles and lined in stone. Sitting on the rocks is a small ceremonial flame.
There is a wreath on the tomb with a cursive signature [Alpha Phi Alpha / Eta Lambda Chapter]. The flowers are in the shape of the Alpha Phi Alpha greek letters. The back of the photograph has a manufacturer's mark, and handwritten and printer's inscriptions.
African American  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Baptist  Search this
Civil Rights  Search this
Fraternities  Search this
Funeral customs and rites  Search this
Photography  Search this
Religion  Search this
Religious rituals and ceremonies  Search this
U.S. History, 1961-1969  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Horace C. Henry
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© Horace Henry
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
One Day in January: A Collection of Images Taken at Dr. King’s First Memorial Service
Media Arts-Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture