Martin Luther King Jr. (15 January 1929 – 04 April 1968)

Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated on 04 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 39. On the 50th anniversary of his death we could be challenged today just as much as then by his words.

Below is a short item, with links to the material.

Beannachtaí na Cásca!

                                   Pádraig McCarthy

Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” on 16 April 1963, in reply to a statement by a group of clergymen (all white) demonstrates vividly the radically different experiences and perspectives of marginalised people versus those who have not had that experience.

Pope Francis calls us to minister to the marginalised and oppressed.

The “Statement by the Alabama Clergymen” of 12 April 1963, with the Letter from Birmingham Jail, can be read at

The Statement refers to an earlier “Appeal for Law and Order and Common Sense” of January 16, 1963 can be found at (The heading gives the year as 1965; this should read 1963.)

Text and video of M L King’s “I have a dream” speech at Washington on 28 August 1963 can be found at

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One Comment

  1. Chris McDonnell says:

    “On the morning, April 5th, Kennedy sat down for an interview with Jack Paar, who asked what his reaction had been to King’s assassination. “That more and more people are turning to violence,” Kennedy replied. “And in the last analysis it’s going to destroy our country.” His remarks at the City Club were an elaboration on that theme.

    The audience—mostly white, mostly businessmen—sat in silence as Kennedy condemned “the mindless menace of violence . . . which again stains our land and every one of our lives” and asked why America should continue to “make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.” He continued, “Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. . . . Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our society can remove this sickness from our land.” He spoke, too, of “the violence of institutions: indifference and inaction and slow decay.” He saw “no final answers.” Yet, he said, “we know what we must do.” THE NEW YORKER

    And fifty years on, those deep-rooted ills still beset America, nominally led by a President incapable of leadership

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