Religion News Service: 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of MLK, Jr.

My good friend Adelle Banks is a reporter for Religion News Service.   She recently sent me this email.   The interviews are an excellent way of bring King into the classroom.

Religion News Service sent me to Memphis a month before the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I interviewed one of the two surviving striking sanitation workers who remain on the job – a man who is also an associate minister. I also visited the three historic sites tied closely to King’s legacy – Clayborn Temple, from which sanitation workers marched with King, Mason Temple, where King gave his last sermon, and the Lorraine Motel (now home to the National Civil Rights Museum), where King was killed.

Here is a link to the overall project that I spearheaded. It will continue with additional stories, commentaries, photos, and videos:

Here are some highlights of what the project includes:

My story from Memphis featuring a sanitation worker who remembers King’s last sermon 50 years ago:

My Q&A with a Memphis sanitation worker who remains on the job 50 years after the 1968 strike that brought King to his city:

My story on the 3 historic sites in Memphis – 2 of them houses of worship – that are part of King’s legacy:

Three commentaries by clergy who lead prominent churches where King once preached:

My two short videos from Memphis of the National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel and its sanitation workers exhibit:

A series of short videos from Memphis by a videographer and me of our interview with Rev. Cleophus Smith, a sanitation worker in his 70s:

If you are interested in a specific short video, here’s a breakdown:

Rev. Cleophus Smith – Marching in ’68:

Rev. Cleophus Smith – Sanitation Workers’ Conditions:

Rev. Cleophus Smith – Dressed Up Before Work:

Rev. Cleophus Smith – King’s Shooting:

Rev. Cleophus Smith – Sanitation Workers’ Deaths:

Rev. Cleophus Smith – Learning to Read:

Rev. Cleophus Smith – Ministry Role:

Click below for more about the project.

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Published by David J. Smith

I am conflict resolution educator, peacebuilding trainer and career coach. My professional experience has spanned the legal, think tank, international, quasi-government, and higher and secondary education sectors. I have taught at all higher education levels: community college, 4-year undergraduate (private, public, religious), graduate, and international. In 2003-2004 I was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar teaching at the University of Tartu in Estonia. From 2005 -2012 I was a senior program officer and senior manager at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington where I managed programs for colleges and universities and developed training for faculty and students. I work with all groups and educational institutions to support peacebuilding awareness.

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