NAACP Honors Dr. King’s Legacy

Today is the 40th anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history, the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King is best remembered as the leader of the civil rights movement and for his work in the African-American community, but he was much more than that. He fought for all oppressed people regardless of color and we all need to remember that.

I received an email from Dennis Courtland Hayes, president of the NAACP, that I would like to share with you. It reminds us all that we must honor Dr. King’s legacy by recommitting ourselves to keeping his dream alive.   
Dear Friend,

Today, on the 40th anniversary of his assassination in Memphis, the NAACP honors the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Forty years after his death, America has seen some progress in equality: educational opportunities have increased and workplaces and political leadership are more diverse. But when you consider these facts, it is very clear that we still have a long way to go.

  • African Americans represent just 12% of the overall population, yet almost 30% of those arrested are African American. And once arrested, African Americans are three times more likely to be incarcerated than whites.
  • The average net worth of white families is $70,000, compared to just $6,000 for African-American families.
  • African-American women are 10% less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than white women, but 36% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.

Dr. King’s involvement with the NAACP dates back to his work in Alabama in the 1950’s, and the NAACP honored Dr. King with its most prestigious prize, the Spingarn Award. We were proud to work side by side with Dr. King, and to carry on our work today on behalf of all people of color.

Dr. King pushed America to fulfill its promise of equal rights for all. Today we should all honor his life and legacy by recommitting ourselves to keeping the dream alive.


Dennis Courtland Hayes
Interim President