#844 - Harry Benson

Coretta Scott King & Family, 1968
#844 - Harry Benson

On April 4, 1968 amidst rising racial tension, Martin Luther King Jr, was shot while the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis,Tennessee. America was shocked, stunned and again pitched into the nightmare of violent death and public agony, not five years after President John F Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas. I was nearby and flew to Memphis and then on to Atlanta to cover the funeral. Arriving in advance of the plane that was carrying the body of the slain civil rights leader, I moved out of the photographers’ allotted area on the tarmac for a moment and caught one frame of his widow, Coretta Scott King and their children as they prepared to step down from the plane. Crowds lined up outside the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to quietly view the casket and pay tribute to the slain leader.”

~ Harry Benson

Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation”

~ Coretta Scott King
(1927 - 2006)

Surely one of Harry's most powerful images from his long career and surely one of the most powerful images I have ever seen period. A single frame captures the pain and suffering on both a personal and societal level.