I’d had a number of opportunities to see and hear Mrs. King speak. At Rev. C. K. Steele, Sr.’s funeral, and at the observance of the first MLK national holiday in Atlanta, to recall a couple. She seemed to always be lost in thought until it was time for her to speak, which she did eloquently. She wore an expression of deep contemplation most of the time. I noticed more worry lines on her face than I’d ever seen on anyone else’s. Of course she had much to ponder. After Rev. Steele’s funeral she agreed to pose for a portrait. My hope was to get her to relax and have as many worry lines smooth out as possible. After this exposure I asked her to breath slowly and deeply. In the next frames you can see her worry lines diminish and her hands begin to relax. I then asked her to close her eyes and continue breathing calmly. Her hands retired to her lap and her lips parted. That was as far as I got eliminating the worry lines. You’ll need to see the actual portrait prints to see the detail adequately.


The last photo is in color. She was always a beautiful women and looked great in her red suit. I even remember how beautiful her face was while veiled after her husband’s assassination.

As much as Rosa Park’s contributions are revered, I think that it’s unfortunate that Mrs. King isn’t thought of as the mother of the civil rights movement. After all, it was she who marched in the front lines with her husband. And it was her face that was likely viewed through the crosshairs of cowards’ previously aborted assassination plans. All this while raising and protecting four children who’s father was often absent.