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Living the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

By: David Huntley, Chief Compliance Officer

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of civil rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We’ve all heard the tragedy of Dr. King’s murder from an assassin’s bullet at a Tennessee hotel in 1968. But to fully appreciate its impact, you must understand the time.


While the fight for full social, economic and legal equality continues to this day, the environment in Dr. King’s day was far different. The struggle and threat more immediate. Despite this, Dr. King and others chose to carry the mantle of freedom during the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s. As one of the movement’s chief architects, Dr. King inspired us ALL to believe in a better future for ALL. By 1968, African Americans had gained substantial legal achievements, including the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968.


Imagine the hope as folks from all backgrounds banded together to achieve and celebrate these and other milestones.


Now imagine the overwhelming sense of intense pain when news broke that a gunman had murdered Dr. King.


I was nine years old the day Dr. King was assassinated. Like all children that age, I wasn’t yet fully aware of the environment in which I lived. All I knew was that when my brother was my age, he wasn’t able to visit Playland Park, an amusement park in our native San Antonio.


But on that day, my innocence was lost. I witnessed the people closest to me react in a way completely foreign to me.


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