Actually the anniversary was on the 4th of April: it was on that day in 1968 that Dr Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
King, who had led the civil rights struggle, knew that the peoples’ concerns changed over time, and that as a leader of those people, his attack must also change. He had therefore taken up a forthright stance against the US’ involvement in Vietnam, which was needlessly wasting the lives of young African Americans.
And what memory did he leave for those so far away in the UK? For me, it was the sound of his voice: few speakers have since come close. What of his legacy? After so many years, the USA has an African American President. But there is still so much racism going under the disguise of attempting to paint Barack Obama as “left wing”, or even “communist”.
Dr King would have recognised all of that: he, too, was branded a communist, and the accusation was as racially motivated then as it is now against Obama.