Editorial: 50 years after Dr. King’s death, the dream lives

Editorial: 50 years after Dr. King’s death, the dream lives
April 05
05:00 2018

Most of us know the story. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was in Memphis, Tennessee, to support the sanitation workers there, who were going on strike. King was on a hotel balcony when he was fatally shot on April 4, 1968. This week, 50 years later, people across the United States and the world commemorated the day. King told the world he had a dream in 1963. They say “The Dreamer” was killed in 1968.

However, many say the dream was not killed.

MSNBC aired a documentary on March 24 and 25 called “Hope and Fury: MLK, the Movement and the Media,” that had people saying as such. One person was one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. That movement has been upgraded with 21st century communication such as social media, but the special showed that media remained the link between the two generations of civil rights movements.

Bishop Dr. William Barber II is one of the people taking up the torch where King left off, with the rejuvenated Poor People’s Campaign. The campaign was a 1968 effort to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States that was planned by King but did not happen before he died. Barber, the former president of the N.C. NAACP, was 4 years old when King died and might not have known about him as a child. But the legacy continues.

It also continues for the man who succeeded Dr. Barber as president of the N.C. NAACP, Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman.

“I was a sensitive 16 year old when Dr. King was killed, and can still remember how the traumatic news of his death sparked an array of emotion in me,” Dr. Spearman recalls to Cash Michaels for The Chronicle. “That trauma still lingers in my body 50 years later, and moves me to continue fighting for the justice.

“King was, and still is my hero. His death did not stop the movement, a movement ordered by God is never stopped with the death of the leader.”

So, 50 years ago, “The Dreamer” was killed. But while he was alive, he inspired future generations. Let’s hope that people are still being inspired to work for civil rights 50 years from now.

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