But it also is a place where oppression reigned, and in an effort to put an end to that oppression, one man lost his life.
Sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike seeking resolution to grievances including inferior wages, the (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported in February 1968.*
King came to Memphis in March1968 to lead a peaceful protest march, but the march erupted in violence.
In a second attempt to bring about change peacefully, King returned to Memphis on April 4, 1968, and started to give a speech from the balcony of the Lorraine Motel**, where he was shot and mortally wounded. He died soon after in a Memphis hospital.
His assassin may have thought King’s voice would be forever silenced by his death, but it only served to make it louder.
Much has changed since that day, and oppression of minorities in the U.S. is diminished, although many inequalities remain. King’s legacy, though, persists, his dream is closer to reality and his voice is still ringing loud and clear.
*Read related Commercial Appeal archived stories at http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/mlk/.
**The Lorraine now is the site of the National Civil Rights Museum.