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New Yorker cover remembers George Floyd, MLK, Tulsa, history of others killed

The magazine's cover features images of Floyd, Martin Luther King Jr., Emmett Till and other black people killed, from this year to the civil rights era and slavery.

WASHINGTON — The deaths of George Floyd, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Emmett Till, those in the Tulsa race massacre, and other black people are featured on the cover of next week's edition of The New Yorker, displaying "the history of violence inflicted upon black people in America." The art shows not only the faces of those passed on, but significant events from this year to the civil rights era and slavery.

The magazine tweeted Sunday an early look at the cover for June 22, titled "Say Their Names" by artist and writer Kadir Nelson. The work's name has been a common chant from demonstrators across the U.S., protesting the May 25 killing of Floyd, as well as Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other black people.

Along with Floyd are images of Arbery, Taylor, teenagers Trayvon Martin and Laquan McDonald, activists Malcolm X and Medgar Evers, as well as "The Unnamed" enslaved people in the country given names by owners. 

"A heartbreaker," director and filmmaker Ava DuVernay said on Twitter, sharing a photo of the magazine's front. New Yorker editor Michael Luo called it "one of the most powerful covers" in its history. 

The art also includes Rosa Parks, Rodney King being beaten by police in 1991, and the "I Am a Man" sign held at the Memphis sanitation workers strike in 1968, shortly before King was assassinated there in Tennessee.

The interactive timeline begins in 1863, with a man known as Gordon who escaped slavery on a Louisiana plantation and had photographs taken of his whip wounds that intensified the abolitionist movement. The 1921 Greenwood district attack in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on one of the wealthiest black communities in the country is memorialized with a man raising his hands. 

Credit: The New Yorker/Kadir Nelson
The New Yorker magazine June 22 cover art by Kadir Nelson from kadirnelson.com and, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cover-story/cover-story-2020-06-22

President Trump has moved his June 19 Tulsa rally to June 20, as the 19th, also known as Juneteenth, marks the end of slavery in the U.S. Black community and political leaders had denounced the move and called on him to reschedule.  

On Sunday, protests continued in Atlanta, where an officer has been fired, and the police chief resigned, after the officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks. The 27-year-old black man died Friday night during a struggle with police at a Wendy's drive-thru. 

The covers of New Yorker magazines are well known for their illustrations. The issue with Nelson's is available Monday. His artwork was also featured on the cover of musical artist Drake’s multi-platinum selling 2012 album, “Nothing Was the Same.” 

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Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2016 file photo, executive producers Alex Gibney, left, and Kahane Cooperman participate in "The New Yorker Presents" panel at the The Amazon 2016 Winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif. The New Yorker regularly features a formidable mix of deeply-reported stories and profiles, fiction, slices of life, cultural coverage and cartoons. Makers of "The New Yorker Presents" achieved the small miracle of capturing the magazine's rhythm and pioneering a "60 Minutes"-style newsmagazine with the work done by documentarians instead of news reporters. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

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