The 40th Anniversary of King's Assassination

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Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson Source: Robert Clarke hide caption

itoggle caption Source: Robert Clarke

Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. He was shot and killed on April 4, 1968, on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 39. In his final speech, given just hours earlier, King uttered these prophetic words to his followers:

"I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the Promised Land."

Every January, we celebrate King's life with a national holiday on his birthday. But in a new book, entitled April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Death and How it Changed America, Michael Eric Dyson argues that King's death and its aftermath give us the greatest insight into his legacy, and offer a platform to re-evaluate whether his dream for America has come true. What do you take away from King's death? What meaning does it hold for you?

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Just what we need: an overreaching and subjective theory along with pointless analysis to celebrate a great man - an American hero.

I think Dr. King spoke pretty well for himself and doesn't need the low-brow insight of Mr. Dyson to define his legacy.

-Portland, Oregon

Sent by Scott Millar | 3:17 PM | 4-3-2008

April 4, 1968 was the day that I, as an 11 year old white girl in Northwest Iowa, became an activist. I was so profoudly moved by MLK's assassination that it changed the path of my life. I became politically active speaking out and protesting the civil rights inequities in the US and South Africa. That pivotal moment affected my career path and the way that I have raised my chikdren.

Sent by Laura S. Beving | 3:18 PM | 4-3-2008