Fifty years ago our nation was changed forever as civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed. He was killed by an assassin at a Memphis, Tennessee motel April 4th, 1968.
Today, millions of people across the country are remembering the historical figure. There are commemorations held in cities across the nation.
Several people in the Borderland also expressed strong feelings of the legacy Dr. King left behind, like Dr. Michael Williams, the Director of African American Studies at UTEP. Dr. Williams has dedicated his life studying the pages of history but to him, Dr. King holds a special place in history.
“We’re actually talking about a legacy of complete dedication to social justice, complete dedication for fighting for the rights of humanity,” Dr. Williams said.
He says that Dr. King’s signature non-violent approach to finding solutions will serve as an inspiration to civil rights leaders generations to come.
“The things we see today in terms of discrimination, the things we see in terms of racism adds only more importance to the words he taught,” Dr. Williams explained.
El Pasoan Arvis Jones remembers Dr. King and his famous speeches well. She says she was 10 years old at the time of his death and grew up in the South. She believes even though King’s “dream” has seen so much progress, there’s still much more that needs to be done in light of recent racial tensions.
“I think he would be disappointed but I think he would still use the same stance he used back then. Let us go to a non-violence stance and have conversations, let all come to the table and see what solutions we can come up with to solve our issues,” Jones said.
Watch KTSM NewsChannel 9 on April 29th at 10 a.m. for a special presentation, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Remembering the Dream. A program you’ll only see on KTSM.