In the days leading up to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, veteran journalist Roland Martin is in Memphis, Tenn to partner with the National Civil Rights Museum and the University of Memphis Law School for exclusive coverage of their 2-day symposium, marking one of the most tragic moments in American History.
In an interview with Martin on Monday, Terri Lee Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum, broke down the planned event, saying, “We have a two-day symposium that is kicking off today. We’re partnering with the University of Memphis law school to really delve into some of the issues that King talked about in his final book Where Do We Go From Here? which is the theme for our event.”
Among those issues which remain a chronic problem in our society is the widespread and systemic poverty still affecting so many across the country, but especially in Memphis, which is the poorest city in America. On Monday, as part of the MLK50 symposium, a group of experts came together to address the topic via the panel, “Confronting Persistent Poverty.” Among those on the panel were scholars Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Dorothy Roberts, Dana Matthew and Dorothy Brown, all of whom addressed how poverty affects “life chances for individuals.” Moderated Professor Amy Campbell, the panel covered everything from what home ownership looks for Black families vs. White families, how poverty affects education and even access to high-quality nutrition.
Check out the full video below:
Other speakers at the symposium Monday included former Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Doug Jones and Dr. King’s daughter, Rev. Dr. Bernice King.
Lee Sanders, the president of the American Federation of State County Municipal Employees also told Martin that the event was about “organizing our communities, mobilizing our communities and educating our communities. Not only for this weekend, Roland, but we believe that it is important not only to commemorate what happened 50 years ago but this must be a call to action.”