When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the African American community fell into a collective state of mourning - but not necessarily disbelief.

To say these were violent or turbulent times would be irredeemably simplistic. I remember asking my father how he dealt with setbacks during his time in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In his characteristically nonchalant manner, he shrugged his shoulders. Maybe a minute later he said, "We always expected the worst," and then just chuckled. Still, they soldiered on. I found this lo-res photo of him in a group walking along Auburn Ave. in Atlanta, GA on their way to Ebenezer Baptist Church. They were attending the funeral for Dr. King. He's with Stokely Carmichael (aka Kwame Ture), Dr. Cleveland Sellars, and Miriam Makeba (the South African singer), among others. When researching the photographer, I came up short. But I did learn about Otto Bettmann - a man of German/Jewish descent who fled Nazi Germany and ultimately created the business model for photo archives. As I read about him, I was struck by this curious quote in his obituary: ''I do not welcome the enormous emphasis on the picture,'' he said in a 1978 interview. ''It is a flattening out of history. The picture can never describe what the word can. The word lassoes the thought. Pictures are very democratic, and they are remarkable in drawing a much larger audience than the word can. The picture makes the observer an immediate participant in the event, but the meaning in the event lies in the word.'' DH