Saturday 28 January 2023
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Thousands Gather to Fight Racism on Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death

By Lisa Dumas –


(FILES) US civil rights leader Martin Lu...(FILES) US civil rights leader Martin Luther KIng waves to supporters 28 August 1963 from the Lincoln Memorial on the Mall in Washington DC during the "March on Washington". On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. 28 August, 2003 marks the 40th anniversay of the speech. King was assassinated on 04 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray, who confessed to the shooting and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

US civil rights leader Martin Luther King waves to supporters 28 August 1963 from the Lincoln Memorial on the Mall in Washington DC during the “March on Washington.”

Thousands gathered at memorials in cities across the country, including Washington, Memphis, and Atlanta recently, to continue the fight against racism on the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, which took place on April 4, 1968.

Rev. King’s children, Bernice King and Martin Luther King III, spoke Tuesday night in Memphis, the location of their father’s assassination, at Mason Temple Church of God in Christ.

“It’s important to see two of the children who lost their daddy 50 years ago to an assassin’s bullet,” Bernice King, 55, stated. “But we kept going.”

Civil rights activists Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. John Lewis also held a separate event in Memphis to remember King on Wednesday.

And, in Atlanta, King’s hometown, bells rang at his burial site the moment when he was shot 50 years ago.

“King’s blood calls out to us,” Rev. Dawn Sanders said during a prayer at the D.C. memorial. “And what are we prepared to do? We thank you, God, for all that will be said and done. But we will not leave here without You pricking our consciousness.”

The National Council of Churches, a network of 38 different religious denominations, led the Washington memorial.

Attendees walked one mile, from the memorial to the National Mall, in prayer and silence, displaying signs and buttons signaling their particular denomination or faith, and featuring statements like “Methodists United Against Racism, “Catholics Against Racism,” and “Racism is a sin.”

“The call for moral courage resonates most deeply in the context of God,” Black Lives Matter leader DeRay Mckesson told the Washington Post. “If you believe in God, that comes with this idea of a sense of right and wrong.”

The hours-long rally also featured additional speakers, religious leaders, artists, and activists.

“As we mark 50 years since the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, we will commit to do our part to eradicate the entrenched racism that grips the United States, and paralyzes our ability to see every human being as equal,” the National Council stated on its website.

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