King

April 4th, 2010

In honor of Easter Sunday, and in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death on April 4, 1968.


42 years ago today,

Dr. Martin Luther King was taken away.


He stood up to evil

And against violent upheaval.

He stood up to hate,

A just society to create.


He lived and died to heal our Nation

And end state-sponsored discrimination.

He died in the service of peace,

So racial injustice would someday cease.


The enemies of equality, filled with hate

Fought with guns, clubs, and the power of the State.

King fought with peaceful bravery

Against their updated version of slavery.


The enemies of justice used violence;

King taught and practiced non-violence.

Faith, hope, and love filled him.

Hatred and intolerance killed him.


It’s fitting that today is Easter Sunday,

Celebrating another man who a similar role did play.

Both Jesus and King made the world a better place,

And were willing to sacrifice themselves for the human race.


After King’s death, the battle for equality went on,

But because of him, the war would eventually be won.

Freedom would ring across the land.

In death, as in life, the Lord took King’s hand.


Every state in the Nation now celebrates King’s birthday,

But we must also remember what happened today.

Though Dr. King is finally getting his monument on the National Mall,

His real memorial is that even in death, he triumphed after all.

***

Here’s King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech from April 3, 1968, the day before he was assassinated.

 

Here’s Walter Cronkite’s announcement of Dr. King’s assassination.
 

Here’s Mahalia Jackson singing Dr. King’s favorite hymn  “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Jackson sang the song at Dr. King’s funeral. Aretha Franklin sang it at Jackson’s funeral.

Here’s your theme music for the day, Mahalia Jackson singing We Shall Overcome.

Also check out this highly rated documentary King – Man of Peace in a Time of War and this popular 1978 NBC miniseries.

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One Response to “King”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Memphis Plus 43 (or: Some Things Have Gotten Better, Some Haven’t) Says:

    […] It’s been exactly 43 years since Dr. King was killed, […]

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