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A Look at Uniforms From Various Martin Luther King High Schools

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day — the day we honor the life of history’s greatest American. He would have turned 95 today.

In past years, I’ve run sports-related photos of King himself, like these great shots of him playing baseball with his children. But this year I’ve decided to run photos of the sports uniforms worn by some of the teams at the many high schools across the country that are named after King.

It’s interesting to see the various ways that schools style King’s identity on their uniforms. Some, like the basketball team shown above, go with “M.L. King”; others just go with “King”; and many simply have “MLK.” You can see all of these tropes playing out in the following photo gallery:

I put this post together yesterday morning. In the afternoon, E and I went to the Whitney Museum in Manhattan, where we saw an exhibit of paintings by the Los Angeles artist Henry Taylor. Amazingly, one of the very first paintings we saw was this one of King throwing a football:

So it turns out that I ran a sports-related photo of King himself today after all, even though that wasn’t my original plan.

However you choose to honor King today, I hope your holiday is a good one. Peace.

Comments (14)

    Aught to do a Lincoln H.S. spotlight also, if you haven’t already. Seems to be one in every large city.

    Best data I could find, excluding religious figures, these people have the most schools K-12 named for them:

    Washington: 676 schools
    Lincoln: 601
    Jefferson: 458
    Kennedy: 190
    King: 110

    After that, the count drops to 25 for Julio Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall.

    The Lincoln HS near me is my alma mater’s neighborhood rival & annual Turkey Bowl opponent.
    They are not very good at winning on Thanksgiving, but have a solid color scheme (black and yellow) and outstanding name: The Railsplitters.

    There are 2 Lincoln high schools in Michigan with the same nickname. Only one MLK high school here though, Detroit MLK Crusaders.

    I also found it interesting that, at least in the schools depicted in the photo gallery, that the color schemes were mostly black or various shades of red. There was a bit of purple but little blue. One of the blue teams notably used “MLK” and “King.”

    Here’s to this country moving ever closer to Dr. King’s dream.

    That’s very fitting because in that ideal future no one is defined by their appearance, only by the content of their character, just like MLK would have loved…
    Ironically his dream was pretty much what Gene Roddenberry dreamed of in Star Trek

    I loved this for the aesthetics- thinking about what color schemes and mascots honor King- most excited to see the simple black and white mirroring the Memphis sanitation workers strike and where king was assassinated. I also liked seeing the candid shots of the smiling faces. Something about those photos gave me hope on this day which marks both a moment to celebrate but also to recognize how far we have to go.

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