NCRM commemorates 53 years since assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Updated: Apr. 4, 2021 at 9:51 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This Easter coincided with the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of Civil Rights Icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The National Civil Rights Museum and local community activists remembered King and all he stood for.

Fifty-three years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on the balcony of the second story of the Lorraine Motel.

Sunday, civil rights icons, experts and community leaders remembered that day and the lessons from the civil rights movement can still be applied today

“Each April 4th, the National Civil Rights Museum pays homage to this great leader,” said Faith Morris, with NCRM.

Through poetry, song and reflection.

NCRM honored the legacy of King and connected his work to modern times in a conversation with longtime civil rights activist Reverand James Lawson who brought King to Memphis for the sanitation workers strike in 1968.

“The systems of oppression cannot be suddenly dismantled just because you think about it now. It will take time and energy and discipline,” said Lawson. “Most of all we’re going to have to unravel what racism is.”

At 6:01 p.m. Sunday, the same time King was shot, the NCRM called for a global moment of silence and reflection.

Later in the evening, a group of community activists held an event of their own at the Lorraine Motel where speakers read some of King’s most famous speeches and words from other civil rights icons.

“Yes if you want to say that I wasn’t a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice,” said King.

“So many times I’ve heard people talk about the hope was lost but they have to hear the words of not only Martin Luther King Jr. but Tony Morrison and so many other people that were quoted here today to let us know it’s still alive,” said Rev. Regina Clark, a community activist.

If you would like to hear more of the conversation with Lawson or to watch the entire event held by the National Civil Rights Museum, you can watch the shared video below.

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