*Imagine a world where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marches with slain black males who ignited a current day Civil Rights Movement and inspiring the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The New Yorker is doing just this with its January 26th edition.
The five of them are walking peacefully with their arms linked. Artist Barry Blitt‘s artwork was inspired by the historic and iconic Selma-to-Montgomery march.
“It struck me that King’s vision was both the empowerment of African-Americans, the insistence on civil rights, but also the reconciliation of people who seemed so hard to reconcile,” he said.
He added, “in New York and elsewhere, the tension between the police and the policed is at the center of things. Like Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, Martin Luther King was taken way too early.”
He concluded with, “it is hard to believe things would have got as bad as they are if he was still around today.”
Blitt’s artwork received mixed and controversial reactions — with some folks acknowledging its message of the dream, peace and unity MLK represents. Yet some critics called it out for simplifying his legacy and the current movement.