Eyewitness News blog on MLK's assassination

April 4, 2008 1:30:21 PM PDT
The weather here is brutal! It has been raining off and on for days. And yet, thousands of people are in the streets of Memphis to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy. Forty years ago today, he was assassinated while he stood on the Balcony of the Lorraine Motel. It was the shocking and premature death of a man who tried to help others.

As a Black American there is a powerful feeling one gets from being here on this day. Having been born after the height of the civil rights movement, sometimes you forget some of the sacrifices others have made. This is a powerful reminder.

I come from a family that was heavily involved in the civil rights movement. My parents were born and raised in Alabama. As teenagers they took part in non-violent demonstrations in Montgomery and Birmingham, and they endured the humiliation of separate but NOT equal.

So much has changed in the last 40 years as Jesse Jackson mentioned in my interview with him last night. There are two candidates for President who are making history. No one can deny that that is the type of future Dr. King envisioned for this country.

That's what so many people say they have come to Memphis for this week. They have mentioned to me and to other reporters here, that they believe in what Dr. King stood for in life. The rain, will not stop them from honoring his memory. -----------------------------------------

Jeff's Blog: From Thursday, April 3, 2008
It's raining in Memphis today. Perhaps scenery that fits, as this city in the south prepares to mark a solemn occasion. The 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr will be remebered here and across the country.

April 4, 1968 an assassin's bullet struck down the civil rights icon as he stood on the second floor balcony of the Memphis' Lorraine Motel. Forty years later there will be a national discussion about race and the progress that has been made.

Presidential candidates, Senator Hillary Clinton will be here as well as Senator John Mccain. Also, the Reverend Al Sharpton is in Memphis. His National Action Network is holding a convention here and he will lead a march through the streets of Memphis on Friday.

I arrived this morning along with photo journalist Brian White. In an exclusive interview I asked Reverend Sharpton about the anniversary and what he hopes to accomplish with Friday's march.

It is an interview you will only see at 11pm on Eyewitness News. We will be here for a couple of days covering the events.

Jeff Pegues

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