Today marks the 50th anniversary of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
Dr. King was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee the evening of April, 4th, 1968 by James Earl Ray. A day before, in what would be his last speech “I’ve been to the Mountaintop,” Dr. King had addressed striking African-American sanitation workers in Memphis.
In remembrance, the New York City Mayor’s office hosted a replay of Dr. King’s final speech in Washington Square Park on Tuesday evening.
In their address to dozens of New Yorkers who had assembled on a rainy Tuesday evening, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, his wife, Chirlane McCray and the Reverend Al Sharpton stressed the importance of Dr. King’s legacy and how the struggles for equality are still but far from over.
“Fifty years ago this evening, the last night of Martin Luther King’s life and that evening he gave a speech that defined his life’s journey. What he said then, the painful division he saw in the country 50 years ago this evening, still exists. Dr. King’s dream has not been realized, but that does not mean we will not continue to fight for it.” Mayor de Blasio said in his speech.
After the broadcast, the Reverend Al Sharpton reflected on Dr. King’s last and ominous speech: “It is our commitment tonight, to not just remember the dreamer but to fulfill the dream. It is not enough to mourn Dr. King; we must in many ways emulate him and show half a century later that no matter what schemes they put down, his dream will not be trumped.”