Апреля 23 2018

Hundreds gather for MLK march in Memphis

Апреля 23 2018, 09:01 | Van Peters

Clayborn Benson

Clayborn Benson

It's been 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and some organizations are utilizing this anniversary to further MLK's dream.

The Memphis sanitation workers were part of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME. The civil rights leader championed equality throughout most of his life.

The commemorations stretch from his hometown of Atlanta to Memphis, where he died, and points beyond.

Others were assembling in Atlanta, where King's daughter the Rev. Bernice A. King moderated an awards ceremony in his honor.

The Memphis events are scheduled to feature King's contemporaries, including the Rev Jesse Jackson, the Rev Al Sharpton and U.S. representative John Lewis, along with celebrities such as the rapper Common.

King's assassination on April 4, 1968 marked one of the most significant moments in US history.

Memphis was host to an "I Am A Man" march to the Mason Temple Church, where King gave his I've Been to the Mountaintop speech the night before he was killed.

Suspected gunman James Earl Ray later pleaded guilty to assassinating King, then spent the rest of his life claiming he'd been the victim of a setup.

"Fifty years ago today, an assassin tried to silence the powerful message of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We have to embrace each other", Strickland said.

"I think the death of Martin Luther King Jr. - maybe, just maybe - took some of the steam out of the movement, but it didn't stop the movement", said Lewis.

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But Saunders stressed that the goal of the week's commemorations was not just to look to the past.

In one of his speeches, King advocated for fair wages and workers rights.

The resounding message repeated at the church was one of resilience, resolve, and a renewed commitment to King's legacy and unfinished work.

On June 30, 1974, Alberta King had just finished playing "The Lord's Prayer" on the organ at Ebenezer Baptist when a man shouted, "I'm taking over here!"

Vincent was a high school junior in Boston when King was gunned down.

It was on March 29, 1968 that Martin Luther King made his way to Memphis, Tennessee to support African-American union workers that had been on strike for the previous two weeks. "He'd say he can't retire, he has to continue working", said Montiero.

"It was a sad, sad day", Lucas said.

The 78-year-old congressman talked about the Freedom Riders, voter registration for blacks in the South during the 1960s and about meeting with King, who called him "the boy from Troy". Seeking to prove that non-violent protests still worked, King vowed to lead a peaceful march and returned to Memphis days later.

Robinson continued: "From the Montgomery bus boycott that brought a city and industry to its knees to leveraging media as a megaphone for the Civil Rights movements, every day at Color of Change we strive to learn from Dr. King's proud legacy and all those that stood with him".

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