Today we celebrate and review the courageous work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But let’s keep it real. While King’s legacy has largely been sanitized over the years–in his day, King’s message of equality, justice and peace was vigorously resisted by the status quo. (It still is.)
The King assassination is surrounded by mystery. James Earl Ray pleaded guilty of King’s murder, and provided no testimony during his trial. However, Ray later recanted his confession. Was King’s death the result of a plot? Subsequent investigations were unable to confirm that a conspiracy was involved. Not everyone is convinced.
On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his last speech, commonly entitled “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” He was assassinated the next day.
Further Reading on Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy
You may be interested to read further about the man we celebrate today…
“‘The important thing to remember is that [King’s] reputation, generally, in the country, has changed,” says Lois Horton, professor emeritus of history at George Mason University. “The FBI had carried on quite a campaign to smear him and to discredit everything he was doing for his whole career.'” ~ Becky Little
“As Trump’s inauguration looms closer and closer, landing just… after we celebrate Dr. King, what we should actually take away from his legacy are not the sanitized platitudes about “peace and equality,” but the burning fire for change and most of all action that made Dr. King the great leader that he was.” ~ Zeba Blay
“Not everyone agreed with King’s Christian approach. A young African-American Muslim named Malcolm X had a very different vision. A brilliant public speaker, Malcolm was a member of the Nation of Islam. He believed King’s talk of love and mercy was weak, and often accused King of being an Uncle Tom.” ~ Lee Habeeb
“Exactly one year before his assassination, on April 4, 1967, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave a speech that may have helped put a target on his back. That speech, entitled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break The Silence,” was an unequivocal denunciation of America’s involvement in that Southeast Asian conflict.” ~ Afi-Odelia Scruggs