52nd Anniversary of My Father’s Assassination

Global Peace Foundation
April 6, 2020

The following letter from the daughter of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. comes at the heartbreaking anniversary of her father’s assassination—not to reflect on the tragedy of our time, but to inspire us, knowing that we have the power and responsibility to care for vulnerable populations in our societies around the world.


During this global crisis, as I reflect on the 52nd anniversary of the assassination of my father, I am considering his words, “And one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands.”

One of the things this crisis is doing is making a demand on our sensibilities and how we deal with poverty and inequity. When my father was assassinated in Memphis, he was there fighting on behalf of the sanitation workers who were part of the economically marginalized and vulnerable communities. I believe it is imperative that we shift our mental responses and our attitudes as we navigate this period of great social change, especially to prioritize our care for marginalized and vulnerable populations. That is a part of embracing nonviolence.

Because we believe nonviolence should be our new normal, the King Center is hosting a series of virtual experiences focused on Building the Beloved Community in the Time of Crisis and educating people on how Nonviolence can help us manage the new normal. Tune in for our next virtual experience Tuesday at 7PM on the King Center’s Facebook page.

We haven’t forgotten about our youth. To help parents and educators share my father’s example with children, Alice Faye Duncan has provided a free PDF copy of Memphis, Martin and the Mountaintop. Download here.

If you would like to make a donation to the King Center, please go here.

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