Understanding Dr. King’s Legacy 50 Years after His Death
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FEATURING JEANNE THEOHARIS – April 4th 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee when he was fatally shot. He had been in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers. Only a day before his death on April 3rd 1968 he gave a speech at the Mason Temple. It was his last speech given just a day before he was assassinated.
April 4th 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death. His impact and the nobility of the struggle he led is no longer contentious or in question. Indeed the civil rights movement in the United States is now held up as a model for current movements, and even used to undermine existing movements for civil, political, social, and human rights. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement has been demonized by some of the same forces on the right that laud the civil rights movement.
We turn today to the author of a book that offers a realistic portrait of the civil rights movement that neither romanticizes nor diminishes its many tactics and struggles.
Jeanne Theoharis, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College of City University of New York and the author or co-author of seven books on the history of the Black freedom struggle and on the contemporary politics of race in the US. Her New York Times best-selling biography, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks won the 2014 NAACP Image Award and the Letitia Woods Brown Award from the Association of Black Women Historians. Her new book is called A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History.