What Would Martin Luther King Do If He Were Around Today? Here’s The New Yorker’s Striking Reply

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FOR THE New Yorker magazine’s latest cover to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, artist Mark Ulriksen decided to draft modern-day activists to create a striking political image.

“What would King be doing if he were around today?” Ulriksen told the New Yorker of the question that led to his new work.

In the cover image, titled “In Creative Battle,” a kneeling King is flanked by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose sitting protests during the national anthem sparked the #TakeAKnee movement in support of Black Lives Matter.

Ulriksen told the magazine he was especially inspired by King’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo, in which he referred to ending “the long night of racial injustice.”

“I’m sure that if King were around today, he’d be disappointed at the slow pace of progress: two steps forward, 20 steps back,” said the San Francisco-based artist, who previously painted King on the New Yorker cover in 1995. “Or 10 yards back, as the metaphor may be.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Jan. 15; the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs is this weekend.

President Trump, who has roundly denounced the #TakeAKnee movement, reportedly plans to attend Monday night’s college football national championship game in Atlanta.

Mark Ulriksen’s 1995 New Yorker cover that marked the Martin Luther King holiday.

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How New Yorker artist’s Ferguson ‘Broken Arch’ cover is filtered through his St. Louis past

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What would Martin Luther King do if he were around today? Here’s the New Yorker’s striking reply
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