The speaker was Martin Luther King Jr. His audience was a cheering crowd of some 2,000 supporters. It was Wednesday night, April 3rd, 1968. Less than 24 hours later, the nation’s foremost ‘apostle of non-violence’ was dead, the victim of an assassin’s bullet as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. That was 50 years ago today. King had said that he was aware that threats had been made on his life. But he said he had seen the fulfillment of his goals of non-violence and did not worry about the future. “Let us stand with greater determination,” he said. “Let us move on in these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be.”
One might say that America is still facing many of the same challenges that Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life’s work to addressing. His son, Martin Luther King III told CBC News on Wednesday that “It’s clear to me that the work is not complete,” he said. “We have a very good nation but we can, in fact, create a great nation. Dad showed us it only takes a few good women and men to bring about change,” pointing to the recent example of students rising up and forcing a national debate in the wake of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida..
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