Civil rights leaders speak day after MLK50 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Civil rights leaders speak day after MLK50

Andrew Young (L), James Lawson (R) (Source: WMC Action News 5) Andrew Young (L), James Lawson (R) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A day after the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. some of King's closest confidants continued to honor his legacy.

Inside the University of Memphis School of Law building, two civil rights icons sat together and spoke candidly in front of a packed room.

Those icons are Ambassador Andrew Young who worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Reverend James Lawson, the man who created the "I Am A Man" slogan and invited Dr. King to Memphis in 1968.

Lawson spoke about that first failed march in 1968 that ended in violence and brought Dr. King back to the city weeks later.

"Over the years we've discovered there were provocateurs, who came outside of Memphis," Lawson said.

Young told the crowd that despite being faced with never-ending death threats, King was not afraid or deterred before his assassination.

"Dr. King was aware of most of these things and he had decided that he wasn't going to run from it. It was almost like he was going to run toward it," Young said. "We came a long way on race; we came a long way on dealing with violence and war, but we've really made very little progress on dealing with poverty."

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