Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"The King of Alabama"

Aug 1, 2018
James Peppler

“If you did not know him, and had never heard anything about him, and were to go into a room where he was seated, he was a person who would not monopolize a conversation,” says Fred Gray, a civil rights attorney in Tuskegee, Alabama. He’s recalling one of this earliest clients, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

“I think initially most people heard it on the media, and those who heard it, told other people about it, so it spread like wildfire. There wasn’t any question about that. It hit me when he was killed, because I knew we had lost a great leader.”

APR

This Wednesday marks fifty years since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the APR news team is examining Dr. King’s work in Alabama and his impact here. The civil rights leader inspired his supporters with the Montgomery bus boycott, his letter from the Birmingham Jail, and by leading voting rights marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on one witness to Dr. King’s earliest work in the civil rights movement, and the place where the two men met...

Stan Ingold / Alabama Public Radio

This Wednesday marks fifty years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the Alabama Public Radio news team has been examining Dr. King’s work and impact here in Alabama. APR guest reporter Ousmane Sagara of the West African nation of Mali reported on how his countrymen remember Dr. King. We examined how Alabama is one of only two states that celebrates the birthdays of Dr. King and Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the same day. Today we look at one man who followed Dr. King with his camera.

"We remember Dr. King, too." An audio postcard from West Africa

Apr 1, 2018

This Wednesday marks fifty years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. Throughout March, the APR news team is reporting on King’s work and impact here in Alabama. The event is being remembered in the United States, but not just in the U.S. Alabama Public Radio participated in a visiting journalist program last year with the West African nation of Mali. That’s where the APR news team met Ousmane Sagara. His home country has its own relationship with Dr. King. We invited Sagara to file this report from Mali’s capitol city.

"The Believers..." Alabamians Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert E. Lee

Apr 1, 2018

Next month marks fifty years since the death of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the APR news team is looking at King’s work and impact here in Alabama. Each year, America honors King on the third Monday in January. The nation takes a day off work and school to remember his accomplishments. Alabama is one of only two states that also celebrates another man on the same day as Dr. King.

“He asked a question: why do we celebrate Robert E. Lee’s birthday?”

As the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior this weekend, southern states are banding together to promote civil rights tourism. Fourteen states stretching from Kansas to Delaware, including all of the Deep South, are joining to promote the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The monument highlights about one hundred and thirty sites linked to the modern civil rights movement. The list includes the hotel in Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated to the birthplace of the confederacy. The joint effort is being unveiled as part of the MLK holiday weekend.

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church held a ceremony yesterday afternoon commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Loretta Lynch was the keynote speaker at the ceremony, delivering her final speech as the United States Attorney General.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon was at Sixteenth Street Baptist yesterday and offers this glimpse into the ceremony, with excerpts from Lynch’s speech as well as U.S. Representative Terri Sewell and U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

Alex AuBuchon / APR

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in her final speech as head of the Justice Department, said worries of difficult days ahead should be a call for action, not despair.

Lynch spoke at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church where four girls were killed in a KKK bombing in 1963. In the speech for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lynch echoed King's words after the bombing to not give into despair.

Lynch praised the work of President Obama's administration to achieve justice for all citizens.

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders Campaign

The dust is settling from this week’s visit by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The Democratic contender became the eleventh presidential hopeful to visit Alabama when his campaign rolled into Birmingham on Martin Luther King Day.

“Well-attended” could easily be an understatement. The Sanders campaign says over 7,000 people turned out for the rally, with well over a thousand braving sub-freezing temperatures to watch outside after the auditorium reached capacity.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon attended the rally and takes this look back.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
AP

The nation honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

The federal holiday will be marked in Alabama with volunteer service projects and parades. The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery will hold a birthday celebration at 10 a.m. Dr. King led that church from 1954 to 1960.

Current Pastor Cromwell Handy believes work needs to be done to keep King’s memory alive for young people. He says one sign of the generation gap is when youngsters take tours of Dr. King’s old office at the church.

A variety of memorial and remembrance events are being held this weekend for the late voting rights activist Amelia Boynton-Robinson.

Boynton-Robinson laid in state at Selma's Tabernacle Baptist Church this morning, followed by a four-hour memorial service. Tomorrow, she will lie in state until noon at the chapel of Tuskegee University. A memorial program will be held from noon until 3 PM Sunday at the university chapel.

A patient being treated for Ebola-like symptoms at UAB Hospital has tested negative for the disease.

Jefferson County Medical Director Edward Khan says the patient recently visited a country with active Ebola cases. The patient began developing symptoms and notified authorities, and was admitted to UAB Hospital last night. Authorities have not released the patient’s identity or the country visited.

State prosecutors say indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard is once again manufacturing investigation leaks to distract the public from his criminal wrongdoing.

Yesterday, prosecutors asked a judge to reject Hubbard's motion to dismiss their indictment. Hubbard claimed there were violations of the grand jury secrecy act and other problems with the investigation against him.

State prosecutors said Hubbard's claims are baseless, and a “bogus narrative”.

“At that time, we’d been singing songs, we shall overcome, and before I’d be a slave…be dead and buried in my grave,” says Bennie Lee Tucker. He’s seventy four years old, and he spent the last fifty five of those years here in Selma. “And we gonna let nobody turn us around, no more Governor Wallace…no more white folk,” he says.

On the front porch of his home on Eugene Avenue, Tucker recalls March 7th, 1965. It was the height of the voting rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior wasn’t the name on everyone’s mind that day.

The City of Selma remembered the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” over the weekend. But today marks another milestone in the civil rights movement.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in 1965. Today marks 50 years since the second march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge called Turnaround Tuesday. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led that protest himself, but turned back before state troopers could attack like they did just two days prior.

Selma city councilman Benny Lee Tucker was a teenager in 1965. He says he had a specific job during King’s march…

The city of Selma is preparing to remember the fiftieth anniversary of the attack known as "Bloody Sunday".

Today also marks fifty years since the funeral of civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson. His death at the hands of an Alabama State Police Trooper is considered one of the reasons Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Selma to help organize the voting rights marches.

Vera Jenkins Booker was the nurse that tended to Jackson when he was brought in to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma.

The world is getting ready to remember the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma early next month. But another bit of Selma history is being remembered now.

100 years before the voting rights march and Bloody Sunday, the Battle of Selma took place during the Civil War. A historic marker was just unveiled at the corner of Highland and Summerfield Road.

In April of 1965, Union general James H. Wilson defeated the troops under Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. Wilson’s biographer, Edward Longacre, says Wilson was only 27 at the time.

  Governor Robert Bentley says there are no easy solutions to the state's budget and prison problems. Bentley, in his second inaugural address, said state leaders face tough decisions as they come into office for the next four years. However, Bentley said state leaders will not shrink away from the challenge.

     A budget shortfall and the state's severely overcrowded prisons are expected to be the biggest problems facing the Legislature when it convenes in March. The governor is expected to give his proposals when he gives his State of the State address in March.

     

Today is the day the nation observes the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

With the incidents in Ferguson, Mo., New York City and the recent release of the film Selma, civil rights are once again at the forefront of people's minds.

Doug Shipman is the CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. He believes if Dr. King were still alive, he would be still be working towards his goal of equality.

americaslibrary.gov

Volunteers are turning out across Alabama to participate with service projects on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The nonprofit Hands On Birmingham expects Monday to exceed its record turnout of 1,800 volunteers last year. The group is helping coordinate more than 30 projects ranging from pulling weeds on overgrown lots to painting hallways and classrooms at a middle school.

Stephanie Willis, director of Hands On Birmingham, calls the holiday honoring the late civil rights leader "our largest day of service throughout the year."

WBRC-TV

A nonprofit group is looking to raise money to turn a Bessemer jail cell that held Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists into a tourist attraction.

   WBRC-TV (http://bit.ly/1cHG5LK) reports the Jefferson County Sheriff's office found the original doors to the cell that held King for a night before he was sent to the Birmingham jail for disturbing the peace. Authorities say they still have the docket book with King's name in it and his booking card.

www.dexterkingmemorial.org

The Montgomery church where Martin Luther King Jr. served as pastor will join other many other locations in ringing bells at the moment when King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago.

   Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in downtown Montgomery will ring bells at 2 p.m. CDT Wednesday as part of the Let Freedom Ring Celebration commemorating King's speech in Washington in 1963. King served as pastor of the church from 1954 to 1960. His leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 made him a national figure in the civil rights movement.