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Last Updated: 05-04-2010

Photographer Chronicles Martin Luther King Murals

Mott Haven section of the South Bronx, 1977 Photography by: Camilo Jose Vergara Mott Haven section of the South Bronx, 1977 Photography by: Camilo Jose Vergara
Bill's Original Taco House, 219 East Martin Luther King Blvd., Los Angeles, 2006 Artist: Debbie Husband, Photography by: Camilo Jose Vergara Bill's Original Taco House, 219 East Martin Luther King Blvd., Los Angeles, 2006 Artist: Debbie Husband, Photography by: Camilo Jose Vergara

Photographer Camilo Jose Vergara has spent his career documenting the very neighborhoods that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke often about — those in the poor inner city.

For more than 30 years, Vergara has taken pictures of King murals in neighborhoods from Detroit to Los Angeles, Chicago and Newark, N.J.

The murals sometimes look like they were painted by artists who had never seen a picture of the civil rights leader. One from a seafood restaurant in Los Angeles has a Latino-looking King next to an image of Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary leader.

"The owner thought that by putting the two of them together, it would make African Americans feel at home," Vergara tells Steve Inskeep. "You see the merging of two cultures, which I think is a very interesting thing."

-- Article by NPR

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