“The Real Issue to be Faced:” On the Assassination (or Execution) and Suppressed Radical Legacy of Martin Luther King

15/04/11 0 COMMENTS

I want to thank the Iowa City Federation of Labor for having this event and inviting me to speak tonight on the 43rd anniversary of the assassination or perhaps the execution of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would have been 83 years old today. I still remember the day after King died. I stood at my dining room window as a massive procession of silent black mourners passed beneath my family’s apartment at Fiftieth Street and Woodlawn Avenue on the South Side of Chicago. Thousands upon thousands of Chicagoans were walking in collective bereavement from all-black sections north of Forty Seventh Street to all-black sections south of Sixtieth Street. Meanwhile, whole city blocks were in flames on the city’s black West Side.  The West Side rebellion provoked the city’s racist white mayor Richard J. Daley to issue a subsequently notorious “Shoot to Kill” order, telling his police chief to target black “arsonists” for summary street executions. I could feel the life being sucked out of the nation and the world and the onset of a long dark reaction….read further

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