On the night of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) was gunned down on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, Tenn.
The most prominent voice in the US Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, King was a strong and influential advocate of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience in the struggle for equal rights for black Americans. For this work, the Baptist minister earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. When he was assassinated, King was in Memphis to support African American sanitation workers, who were striking to protest unequal wages and working conditions.
His assassin, James Earl Ray, at first escaped, but was captured at London’s Heathrow Airport in June 1968. Sentenced to a 99-year jail term, he died in prison in 1998.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of MLK’s death last spring, BU Today reached out to BU faculty, staff, and students, asking them to reflect on King’s legacy. Read their essays and view their videos below or by clicking on the boxes above.