Who Killed Martin Luther King Essay

Who Killed Martin Luther King Essay

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Scratching the Surface, Not Driving in Bullets or: Why White People are Such Morons

A great number of people know who Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was. My generation has had the opportunity to learn about his work in the civil rights movement and his “I have a Dream” speech as early as elementary school. I’d venture to say that a fewer amount of people know that this icon was assassinated and James Earl Ray, a white man, was arrested as his killer. Unfortunately, an even smaller number of people have heard of, or have read about a remarkable civil rights writer named James Baldwin.

Determining whom killed Martin Luther King seems to still be an issue because of the guilt of the white man. If white men were properly educated, there would be no reason for the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. If white people would analyze their past, like Baldwin suggests, in a truthful manner, the guilt should dissipate.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights leader during the middle part of the twentieth century. He gave many speeches and led peace marches to gain equal rights for African Americans. I chose to research the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. I guess I knew that he was assassinated but I didn’t know the details. I wanted to know who killed him, when, where, and how King died. The Purpose of this paper is not to determine if James Earl Ray did in fact kill Martin Luther King. Rather, it is a dissection of characters and events utilizing the ideas of the illustrious James Baldwin. In the early part of 1968 he was interested in producing another civil rights march for the poor. Before that could happen, the sanitation workers of the city of Memphis, Tennessee, summoned him. He arrived in March in ord...


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...ca, 1998. 63-84.



---. “Down at the Cross.” 1955. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84.



Harrison, Eric. “The Killing of Dr. King Revisited.” NewsBank NewsFile Collection 4 (1994): A-15



McKinley, James. Assassination in America. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1975.



Pepper, William F. Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King. New York: Caroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1995.



Ray, James Earl. Who Killed Martin Luther King? The True Story By the Alleged Assassin. Washington, D.C.: National Press Books, 1992.



Seigenthaler, John. A Search For Justice. Nashville, TN: Aurora Publishers, inc., 1971.



Wexler, Sanford. An Eyewitness History of The Civil Rights Movement. New York: Checkmark Books an imprint of Facts on File, Inc., 1993.

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