Safe Haven recognizes Martin Luther Jr. assassination

Published 5:46 pm Friday, April 5, 2024

Fifty-six years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Safe Haven Center memorialized the anniversary of MLK’s death on Thursday at the footsteps of Selma City Hall.

Safe Haven Pastor Rev. Michael Bowen Sr. said he was disappointed with the low turnout to honor King, who was killed by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Hotel.

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“We should have thousands of people come out,” Bowen said. “People blow up their phones whenever their children get killed.”

Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn said MLK should be more honored, especially for leading the “Bloody Sunday” march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965, resulting in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“We have come a long way, but we still have a ways to go,” Nunn said. “When King got killed, he was at the Lorraine Hotel fighting for people who couldn’t defend themselves.”

Kalim Muhammad of Safe Haven Center said MLK always had courage to fight for racial injustice during the middle 1950s until his death.

“MLK knew that his life meant something,” Muhammad said. “He was willing to sacrifice his life.”

The program switched to gun violence as Jasmine Robinson, executive assistant to Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr., spoke on the mayor’s behalf.  Robinson said Perkins agrees with the Safe Haven Center’s stance on “Stop the Violence,” where numerous local kids are murdered. 

Minister Rosetta Bowen, Bowen’s wife, said they could easily turn away the calls received about local men killed from gun violence. She also challenged the city leaders to step up.

“We could’ve easily not answered the phone, but we didn’t give up,” Rosetta Bowen said. “We will reap the harvest in due time.”