Apr 04 2008
the entire program
40 years ago today, the greatest civil rights leader of our time, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed by a man named James Earl Ray. It was April 4th 1968. Dr. King was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee when he was assassinated. He was only 39 years old. He had been in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers. The day before his death, he gave his last speech, “I’ve been to the Mountaintop,” at the Mason Temple in Memphis, in which he seemed to prophesize his own end. In his last year of life, he had been working on a nationwide campaign to end poverty. This weekend, to commemorate King’s legacy, hundreds of community organizers and activists are gathering in Memphis for a sold-out conference called “The Dream Reborn.” The goal of the conference, in the words of its organizers, is to “create ecological solutions to heal the earth while bringing jobs, justice, wealth and health to all our communities.” Speakers include Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Winona LaDuke, Paul Hawken, Makani Themba-Nixon, and my guest, Van Jones, founder and president of Green For All, which is organizing the conference.