ATLANTA – Dexter King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest son, was at the King Center on business Thursday, while others were there to pay tribute on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination.
Dexter King reflected on the changes in America since his father’s death. “We have our first African American president. We have strides towards equality.”
Dexter King said he is proud of his father’s accomplishments. “I know that he was a man of hope, he was a man with aspiration and self-empowerment. It really wasn’t about him as much it was about values, principles and morality,” he said.
Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN, on April 4, 1968.
The King Center was a must-see for Callie Rossi and her family. They were in town from Scotland. “We knew it was a memorial today, so we thought we would come to the King Center. I didn’t realize it was going to be so big,” said Rossi.
Rossi, along with her mother and sister, also stopped in Memphis to visit the Lorraine Motel. “When I was in school, that was one of the main things we learned about in history, so everyone knows about it. I feel like I’m learning more just being here,” she added.
Emily Karn, 12, and her family are from Richmond, Va. The King Center was a must-see during her spring break.
“We learned about Dr. King in school, but they didn’t tell us how violent some of the marches really were and the fact that he continued, is pretty awesome,” Emily said. “The police dogs that attacked people, I didn’t know about those.”
Emily and Rossi participated in a wreath-laying ceremony held by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization Martin Luther King Jr. once led.