Dr. King

UNC Walk for Health to lead solemn walk to

honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Racism is America’s worst disease. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.” Albert Einstein


CBS17 News coverage:
What: UNC Walk for Health will lead a procession to raise public awareness of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
When: April 4, 2018
Where: Depart – 5:30pm – Confederate Soldiers monument (Silent Sam), McCorkle Place, University of North Carolina
Arrive – 5:50pm – Peace and Justice Plaza, 179 E. Franklin St. Chapel Hill
                6:01pm – The exact minute of his assassination. National Bell Toll – The Religious Affairs Committee of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP are asking you to join us as bells will ring at places of worship, college campuses and institutions 39 times across the nation to honor the number of years Dr. King dwelled on this earth and pay homage to his legacy.

– The UNC Gospel Choir will perform.

– Audio: “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” by Mahalia Jackson

– Audio: Excerpt of Rev. King’s “Drum Major Instinct” sermon  

6:30 p.m. – Event ends – Refreshments will be provided.

Why: To help inspire, revise, and rebuild a dynamic new movement of jobs and justice exactly fifty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and release of the historic Kerner Commission report. 

The purpose of this special event is to also raise awareness that the very bullet that shot and killed Dr. King came from the symbolic rifle held by Silent Sam, located at McCorkle Place, the University of North Carolina’s most hallowed ground. More than 620,000 soldiers died during the Civil War, including at least 287 UNC students. Most of these deaths were not from gunshot wounds, but from disease, with dysentery being the number one killer. The Confederate Soldiers monument at UNC is a blatant symbol of death, destruction, disease, and non-justice.  

“True peace is not merely the absence of some negative force, it is the presence of justice.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Editor’s Notes: Fifty years ago President Johnson appointed a group to find the root cause of the riots and rebellions of the 1960s. The historic Kerner Commission concluded that “white racism” was the key cause of “pervasive discrimination in employment, education and housing”. And that America was moving toward two societies, “one black, one white – separate and unequal.”

According to a report released February 26, 2018 by the Economic Policy Institute, there has been no progress in how blacks fare in comparison to whites when it comes to homeownership, unemployment and incarceration. In some cases, black people are worse off today than they were before the civil rights movement culminated in laws barring housing discrimination and voter suppression, as well as other forms of racial mistreatment.

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Day 5 – 9/24/17 Memphis, Tenn. – UNC Walk for Health Co-Founder William Thorpe visits the National Civil Rights Museum  (former Lorraine Motel) – site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, My Life With Martin Luther King, Jr. 1969, King’s last request was to musician Ben Branch, who was to perform at a planned rally later that night. King called down to him from a little balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, “Be sure to sing, ‘Precious Lord, Take My Hand’ for me tonight, Ben. Sing it real pretty”.  

Laughing, Branch, said he would.

Solomon Jones who was to drive the car that evening to take King out to dinner, called up to the balcony. “It’s getting chilly, Dr. King. Better take an overcoat”.

King said, “O.K., I will.”

It was almost time to go.

At that moment came the shot. Witnesses said it sounded like a firecracker…