MLK50 Recap: A Platform for Activism

Apr 5, 2018
Photo by Angela Kim

Leading up to Wednesday's commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death 50 years ago, multiple groups hoped that the media spotlight on Memphis would draw attention to contemporary civil rights issues, from economic empowerment to social equality. With a backdrop and a microphone provided by the National Civil Rights Museum, activists appealed to various causes. Labor unions took to the streets of Memphis in a show of strength. In this second installment of our MLK50 recap, WKNO reporters Meredith Husar and Erin Conway discuss some of the political aspirations presented to the anticipated crowds of more than 100,000. 

MLK50: A Multi-Generational Movement

Apr 5, 2018
Photo by Sydney Matzko

  As children from Promise Academy raise their voices to the anthem "We Shall Overcome," hundreds of young activists flood the streets, lending their energy and vitality to a call for action.

Fifty years ago, adults might have been wary of bringing children to a civil rights march. But at Wednesday's MLK50 commemoration, from the marches to the speeches, children and young people could be seen in every crowd.


MLK50 Recap: A Strategy of Commemoration

Apr 5, 2018

The week-long events surrounding the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death drew everyone from politicians, activists, labor leaders and tourists to Memphis. There were as many reasons to participate as there were causes to rally behind. In this segment reflecting on MLK50 events, WKNO reporters Sydney Matzko and Sierra Guardiola discuss the commemorative aspects of the observance, and how history has been used as an example for future activism. 

A New History for an Old Confederate

Apr 4, 2018
Angela Kim

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.

A Rally of Remembrance

Apr 4, 2018
Brontë Cook

Thousands of people from all over the world gathered in Memphis on Wednesday to participate in I AM 2018’s “Rally For Justice.” The rally included music, speeches by activists, and a march to Mason Temple, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his final "Mountaintop" speech.


People of all ages gathered on Beale Street outside the AFSCME local 1733, where history was made during the 1968 sanitation workers strike. Those active during the civil rights era want to ensure that it is not forgotten.



In Art and Song, A Legacy Remembered

Apr 4, 2018
Photograph by Angela Kim.

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 6:01, The Bells Toll for a King

Apr 4, 2018
Photos by Erin Conway

Fifty years ago today, a shot rang out in Memphis. A different ringing will be heard today to mark the moment Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on the balcony at the Lorraine Motel.


Bell ringers across the country will join together for a tribute to the slain civil rights icon. Some view it as a way to transform a moment of pain into a moment of unity.


Youth Town Hall Energizes Future Activists

Apr 3, 2018

As MLK 50 events continued Tuesday, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees hosted a town hall for youth.

The event was held at the Greater White Stone Missionary Baptist Church, attracting around 200 students and panelists who came together to support the next generation of activists in honor of King's legacy.

NAACP Explores Future of Dr. King's Dream

Apr 3, 2018
Photo by Erin Conway

An event at Temple of Deliverance on Monday night that coincided with this week’s MLK50 commemoration brought community leaders, politicians, and others together to explore the question: “Where do we go from here?”


Students Share the Music and Art of MLK50

Apr 3, 2018
Photo by Sydney Matzko

Among this week’s MLK50 events, Shelby County School students had their voices heard at the Halloran Centre on Monday, through the showcasing of art and music.

A chorus of Dunbar Elementary students sung a song called, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Not the version by James Weldon Johnson, but one written with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in mind, along with this year’s theme: "Where do we go from here?"