Friends remember Dr. King

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 4, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

On this day 40 years ago, the world lost the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one day after his speech, &8220;I&8217;ve been to the Mountaintop.&8221;

In hindsight, King&8217;s speech seemed nearly prophetic. &8220;I&8217;ve looked over, and I&8217;ve seen the promised land,&8221; he said during a sanitation workers&8217; strike in Memphis, Tenn. &8220;I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And so I&8217;m happy tonight; I&8217;m not worried about anything; I&8217;m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.&8221;

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Richie Jean Jackson, Selma resident and longtime friend of King&8217;s, said she remembers the day he was shot.

Jackson attended King&8217;s funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, personally invited by the King family. Jackson said the church was small, and individuals could only attend by invitation.

She thinks of King often.

King often stayed at the Jackson home for pastors&8217; meetings, or when en route to Marion, where his wife Coretta was raised.

Amelia Platt Boynton Robinson was also a friend of King. Robinson said He stayed at her home, and even asked her to go on speaking engagements for him if he had a conflict.

Robinson said many of the troubles plaguing America today &8212; delinquent children, violence within families and schools, even economic problems-banks failing, and increasing rates of unemployment &8212; are &8220;all because of failure to follow the rules and regulations Dr. King taught. To love, not hate. To make peace and not war. If we went back to the standards Dr. King taught, we wouldn&8217;t have these problems,&8221; Robinson said.