Iconic Photo- Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

14 10 2011

These are the two people who I believe to be the epitome of what iconic really means. Not only are these two men well know, the picture is a symbol of hope for many minorities.  Malcolm X and Martin Luther King are heroes in the eyes of those who have been victim to racism and violence in their lives. They serve as leaders for freedom and equality in this country and have made a big difference. I chose this picture because these two men have been an essential part of not only my life, but the lives of my ancestors and I admire them very much. I actually have read both of their biographies and the movie of Malcolm X is amazing.

As I said previously, I admire and look up to these men for everything they had worked for when it came to rights for minorities in the U.S. I chose this photo of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King for the simple fact that they are history and should be given recognition whenever possible.

Using Lester’s 6 perspectives, I feel that this photo reflects the historical perspective the most based on what these two men stood for and what they had achieved during their lives. They are very much historical figures and should be praised on the work they produced. The next perspective would be the personal perspective because as I have stated earlier, I have a personal reaction whenever I see this photo shown. I am a Hispanic minority and if it not had been for these two men fighting for the rights of African-Americans, they would not have paved the way for my family and myself to live the lives we have right now. Along with the personal perspective, the critical perspective of this photo varies from viewer to viewer. If minorities were to see this photo, they would immediately know who these two are and what they have done. If viewers of the majority race who may not have agreed with them or did not want their goals to be achieved, they would see this photo as a non-iconic image and would reject it.

The cultural perspective comes out in this photo with the shaking of their hands and their smiles symbolizing unity and trust they have for one another. It is historically known that Malcolm X did not agree with the way Martin Luther King Jr. went about trying to get freedom for African-Americans. So this photo actually portrays them as getting along and having mutual respect for each other, even if they disagree because they are still fighting for the same thing. When it comes to the ethical perspective, I believe that this photo portrays moral responsibility because the reason behind the photo is unity and determination to have the good of the people. When a viewer sees this photo, they should be reacting in a positive way because, as I have stated, these men fought for the rights of people who didn’t have a voice in society. Finally, with the technical perspective I believe that this photo has just the right amount of light shining on the men’s faces and it stands out in black and white. I think if it were to become color, then it would just be stuck in the background as another photo. To me black and white photos stick out better than ones with color.

Overall, I love this picture because of what it represents and the men in it for all they have done. They are truly iconic heroes.

Below is the link for the photo above.





One response

28 10 2011

So Angie, you articulate well why these two men are iconic… but what makes THIS IMAGE iconic? Would you be able to say to someone, “Remember that picture of Malcolm X and MLK shaking hands?” and would they instantly remember? That is what we are struggling to understand. What makes something iconic according to Sandra Moriarty? It must be embedded or “seared” onto the public memory.

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