Reflecting on MLK's Legacy | WYPR

Reflecting on MLK's Legacy

Apr 10, 2018

Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway of Union Baptist Church reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, and how the fight for justice continues. 

 

50 years ago on April 4, 1968 my worldview was drastically changed.

The assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while he was in Memphis, Tennessee on behalf of the Sanitation Workers Strike was a seminal moment in my life. 

It is fitting that we revisit that moment and commemorate that day as our country struggles with issues of racial justice and equity. 

Like the Civil Rights struggle of 50 years ago, we are still wrestling with issues like Black Lives Matter, Me Too, voting rights and gun violence. Massive demonstrations still exist throughout America and that's good. 

The fight for justice continues as others take on the mantle and communities throughout America develop the organizational capacity to resist and overcome racism and injustice. 

We have much to learn. Therefore the people of America must pause, reflect, and renew our commitment to racial harmony and social justice. Our attention returns to Memphis, Tennessee as freedom fighters, religious leaders and labor leaders convene once again to call American citizens to not retreat into segregation and patterns of racial disparity, but to endeavor to become better in our quest to create the more perfect union. 

It is important that we renew our commitment to racial freedom and resist the minority that seeks to turn back the clock in their quest to recreate a world where inequality is high and lifted up. 

While we may be 50 years from April 4, 1968, we must resist the tensions and not allow the patterns of that era to return. 

I believe the dream did not die and the freedom struggle begun long ago, will continue without end. 

-Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway