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2 comments | Friday, January 07, 2011

Atlanta's weekly LGBT newspaper Georgia Voice is certain to raise a few eyebrows with it's latest cover commemorating the annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The slain civil rights leader graces the cover of the January 7 issue in the look of the popular NOH8 Campaign, mouth covered with duct tape and the words NOH8 in black and red ink on his cheek.

The NOH8 Campaign has garnered national attention as a silent protest against the passage of Proposition 8, the amendment that took away the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry in California and has featured thousands of everyday people and celebrities such as Cindy McCain, Lt. Dan Choi, and comedian Kathy Griffin to name a few.

But the question remains: if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive would he have participated in the NOH8 Campaign and is altering the face of such an iconic and revered leader in poor taste?

The campaign arrives in Atlanta the day before festivities kick off honoring the civil rights hero. NOH8 Creators Jeff Parshley and Adam Bouska recently spoke to Georgia Voice about coming to Atlanta.

"Bringing the NOH8 campaign to Atlanta during Martin Luther King Weekend was a “no brainer,” Parshley added

And, if Martin Luther King Jr. was alive today, there is no doubt in Bouska and Parshley’s minds that he would gladly participate in the campaign.

“This [photo shoot] is one day before Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday so going back to his home town was a no brainer for us,” they state on the Facebook event page for the Atlanta visit. “We think he would be at the shoot if he were with us today.”

For conservative church-going African-Americans who are not familiar with the look or mission of the NOH8 campaign I believe the reaction will be less than pleasant. However, if MLK were alive I believe he'd be on the side of equality and justice for all and would have participated in the campaign.

So do you think the cover is appropriate or in poor taste? Should Georgia Voice prepare for a backlash?

h/t Drama Dupree

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NO H8 Campaign Arrives In Atlanta

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<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Humm... although I am not completely familiar with this news source, judging from the website I'd say it was lead by the face of queer politics, which happens to be liberal white gay men, the kind who where those "gay is the new black" tee-shirts, thus the MLK cover isn't in bad taste, it's appropriation.

As for whether or not I think MLK would have been down with the prop 8 fight, that all depends on how much he distanced himself from patriarchy. If what I've heard is true, King wasn't keen on female leadership and distanced himself from a gay black man who used to write his speeches based on that man's orientation.

Here are my references:

This is a speech about black male privilege in which a professior of sociology makes reference to King's reaction to a woman's letter suggesting that some women head up a few civil rights projects: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfYvL4wnWeY

This video is from a series regarding gender and homophobia in the civil rights and black power movements: http://www.youtube.com/user/AfricanElements#p/u/16/FWMqguDIOrA

January 07, 2011 8:56 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Thanks for engaging the topic. My name is Carlton Mackey and I'm one of the folks collaborating with Josh Noblitt to bring the NOh8 campaign to Atlanta. Asking the question of "What Would King Do?" is an important one. When I saw the cover, I was delighted on one hand to see the press coverage. I was also wondering what the feedback/conversation would be around using King's image. Thank you for kicking it off. My most recent post about the event is below.
Pleasure to meet you.

January 08, 2011 2:11 PM


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