Locals Talk About The 50th Anniversary Of MLK Assassination

STARKVILLE, Miss.(WCBI) – It was the shot felt around the world.

50 years ago Wednesday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot as he stood on the balcony of a downtown Memphis motel.

Some local people say out of that tragic day, the civil rights movement grew stronger.

“They killed Martin but they couldn’t kill the dream,” said Zion Gate Pastor James Boyd.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., goes down in history as the pioneer of the civil rights movement. Those who remember that day says it’s still hurtful now.

“That day I happened to be in class and when I heard the news, I was devastated,” said Eileen Yvette Williams.

It’s day many can vividly remember.

“I was 12 years old when that happened of course so much was happening through that era and it seemed like that bad news never quit coming,” said Williams.

In the hours leading up to his death, Dr. King planned a march to support Memphis sanitation workers who claimed they were being mistreated.

The night before the march, King was fatally shot while standing on the balcony of his Memphis Hotel.

“I just remember a big riot at my dad’s store had broke out too because of what had happened,” said Williams.

Eileen Yvette Williams grew up with her physician father, the second African American doctor to practice in a, at the time, segregated, Starkville.

“It was a wonderful childhood there were just troubled times too,” said Williams.

The civil rights movement became stronger, she says, after Dr. Kings death.

“When Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, it made a big impact and the kids back then we weren’t afraid. We followed our leaders, we trusted our leaders and I do believe that because Dr. King, died he was martyred in such a way it increased his effectiveness, because there were leaders who just popped up, who stepped up to the plate to do the things that needed to be done,” said Williams.

“This progressed the movement which means he had more of an impact. In death, Jesus had more of an impact after the cross and their lives kind of intersected at that point. It’s amazing that God uses some of us in our death rather than in our living,” said Boyd.

Dr. King was 39 years old when he was assassinated.

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