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    Sale 2215 | Lot 399
    Price Realized: $6,000With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
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    • Sale 2215 Lot 399

      SLEET, JR., MONETA (1926-1996)
      "Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr. comforting her daughter, Bernice, 5, during funeral in Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church." Oversize silver exhibition print, 19 1/2x15 1/2 inches (49.5x39.4 cm.), flush mounted, with Sleet Jr.'s archive hand stamp on mount verso. 1968; printed circa 1980
      Estimate $6,000-9,000

      From the family of Moneta Sleet, Jr.
      This photograph was shown at an exhibition entitled "Moneta Sleet, Jr.: Pulitzer Prize Photojournalist" at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture from November 8, 2007 to December 31, 2007.

      Moneta Sleet, Jr., who won the Pulitzer Prize for this image in 1969, was the first African American photographer to be awarded this honor. During the height of the Civil Rights movement, only a few photojournalists had access to Dr. King and his family. Sleet compassionately depicted them informally, at home, and also photographed Dr. King's journeys throughout the South, recording the many challenges he endured. Sleet wrote, "My pictures helped to document the movement, to show as clearly as possible the people, the conditions, and the history they were making."

      When Sleet was informed of King's assassination, he went to Atlanta. He immediately recognized that the African-American media was not represented among the press. Mrs. King was promptly notified and declared there would be no "pool" unless someone from Johnson Publishing (Sleet's employer) was included.

      Sleet arrived for the funeral, which was at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, but was at first denied entrance by the FBI. Since he was carrying a personal letter from Mrs. King, he was allowed to enter. Mrs. King sat with her daughter, comforting her, and were situated very close to Sleet. He later recounted, "Sitting in all her regal glory, not crying, very stoic, Mrs. King was trying to calm the little girl. I began to shoot, and she turned her face toward me, rather forlorn and I shot that…As a father, I could not help but have great empathy for the family."

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $6,000