MLK50: "where do we go from here?"
I was part of a group of 12 Ithaca College students who flew down to Memphis to assist WKNO, Memphis' local NPR affiliate, cover the 50th Commemoration of Reverand Doctor Martin Luther King Jr's assassination. The week was a humbling and fast-paced experience. Here are a few of the pieces we worked on.
Mason Temple in South Memphis attracted busloads of union members on Monday. The historic church played host to one of the many MLK50 events planned for this week.
Members of AFSCME Local Union 1733 and others wore their union badges proudly. Walter Greely of the American Federation of Government Employees reflected on why King’s support for sanitation workers 50 years ago still affects him today.
From photography exhibits to concerts, the 50th Anniversary commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death goes beyond speeches and protest signs.
Many across the City of Memphis are celebrating history in artistic ways.
At Clayborn Temple, which served as a gathering spot for those sanitation workers in 1968, the Iris Orchestra joined the Memphis Black Arts Alliance and University of Memphis Symphony to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy.
Many different voices will be broadcast out of Memphis throughout the next week: activists, union organizers, politicians. And then, there are the broadcasters themselves. Among them is a group of young journalists who have come all the way from Ithaca College in upstate New York. Four of them — Brontë Cook, Isabella Grullón-Paz, Kenneth Bradley, and Kylee Roberts — spent Sunday in Downtown Memphis, talking to people about the upcoming MLK50 commemoration. Here, they reflect on why the event has inspired a pilgrimage, of sorts, for both activists and journalists.
On a day when Memphis was commemorating a tragic event of 50 years ago, one church took an hour to reflect upon a much older stain on the pages of history.
The crowd was standing-room-only at Calvary Episcopal Church, where a midday "Service of Reconciliation" was held to dedicate a new historical marker on the property, this one erected as a response to an older marker nearby, placed in 1955.