A Trayvon hoodie on Martin Luther King Jr. has become a viral image this week, but the timely protest has generated some anger within King’s family.
An artist created the picture in the wake of the Trayvon Martin trial’s conclusion in which George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing the 17-year-old. Martin had been walking back to the home of his father’s fiance in February 2012 when Zimmerman mistook him for a burglar, leading to a confrontation that left Martin dead.
Martin supporters say Zimmerman saw Trayvon’s hoodie and the fact that he was a young black man and assumed he was up to no good in the neighborhood.
The Trayvon hoodie went on to become a symbol of the movement seeking justice for the 17-year-old. Many celebrities, politicians, and athletes donned sweatshirts in a show of support.
This week artist Nikkolas Smith took it upon himself to give a Trayvon Martin hoodie to one of the biggest figures from the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr.
The image went viral on Twitter, even getting a retweet from former Obama advisor Van Jones.
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) July 14, 2013
But not all people are happy with the image. King’s niece said her uncle would never have worn a hooded-sweatshirt in that manner.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would very likely not wear a hoodie,” said Alveda King on the Andrea Tantaros radio show Tuesday when asked about the image. Alveda King is now a right-wing anti-abortion activist and former state representative in Georgia. “I can assure you he would not wear sagging pants. I don’t even think I’ve ever even seen his sons with sagging pants.”
King said the verdict has been reached and Americans must now respect that.
Despite King’s opposition, the Trayvon Martin hoodie remains a poignant symbol for supporters in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal. The Sunday morning after the trial ended, many black pastors honored Martin with “Hoodie Sunday” wearing hooded-sweatshirts to the pulpit and delivering messages of justice and peace to their congregations.