Still We Reach: 52nd Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination
Presented by the Kenndey King Memorial Initiative
This Saturday, April 4, 2020, marks the 52nd commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Indianapolis has a special history and connection to that night. On the night that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Sen. Robert Kennedy, who was running for President, was in Indianapolis and scheduled to speak in the park at 17th and Broadway. Despite being urged to cancel his appearance, Sen. Kennedy delivered an impromptu speech from the back of a flatbed truck, which was a moving message urging peace and forgiveness, offered in the midst of violence across the country. His words left a deep impression on all who heard it. The impassioned remarks he delivered became one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and Sen. Kennedy’s call to strive for understanding and peace reverberates today.
The JCRC is proud to partner with the Kenndey King Memorial Initiative, which is an organization that not only memorializes what happened on April 4, 1968 but also works to take the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy to guide our community in our work to diminish racial conflict, inspire courageous action, and strengthen Indianapolis. Please see the information below regarding how KKMI is honoring this important commemoration during the COVID-19 crisis:
April 4th Commemoration Highlights:
- Click here to visit WISH-TV’s “Still We Reach: 52nd April 4th Commemoration” website
- On April 4 @ 7 p.m., watch the documentary “A Ripple of Hope” on WFYI 3
- Check on an elder and share conversation utilizing the “A Ripple of Hope” discussion guide found here
- Get some fresh air while still practicing social distancing with a visit to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park and the Landmark for Peace Memorial
Message from Board Chairman Rep. Gregory W. Porter
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As the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative navigates this unprecedented time and in accordance with city, state, and federal guidelines currently in place, we have reimagined the traditional April 4 commemoration with a social distancing, multimedia approach to recognize Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s famous speech in Indianapolis on April 4, 1968, the night Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed.
Despite being urged to cancel his appearance, Sen. Kennedy delivered an impromptu speech from the back of a flatbed truck, which was a moving message urging peace and forgiveness, offered in the midst of violence across the country. His words left a deep impression on all who heard it. The impassioned remarks he delivered became one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and Sen. Kennedy’s call to strive for understanding and peace reverberates today.
Please join us online at WISH-TV in viewing Sen. Kennedy’s historic speech and to hear directly from civic leaders how this deeply moving moment in Indianapolis history continues to connect us to the values and legacy of Sen. Kennedy and Dr. King.
In addition, the community is invited to view the documentary, “A Ripple of Hope,” which is airing on April 4 at 7 p.m. on WFYI-TV. A discussion guide is available here to use the occasion to check on those who may be alone and engage in conversation.
“This is a great opportunity to learn more about the history of our city, the perspectives and lived experiences of those in our families and communities and to have meaningful conversations about equity and inclusion”
—Darryl Lockett, executive director of Kennedy King Memorial Initiative
Lastly, we invite you to visit the grounds where Sen. Kennedy’s historic speech took place. Although Indy Parks facilities are currently closed, the outdoor campus at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 601 E. 17th St. is still open for the community to enjoy from dawn to dusk and features the Landmark for Peace Memorial sculpture of King and Kennedy reaching out to each other. Out of an abundance of caution and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the community is asked to practice social distancing (6 feet between each other) when they visit in order to keep the space healthy and safe.
We hope you will be able to partake in one, if not all, of the multimedia events and that we will be together again next year to observe a moment in time, a place in history and a promise to the future.
Information for this blog post was originally sent to the JCRC from KKMI