Contact: Ray Baker, Director of Communications
4 April 2018
AFT-Maryland President Marietta English issued the following statement on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On this solemn day, we remember a man who was not only a leader for racial but also economic equality; a man who in his last days walked with and campaigned for the dignity of public employees; a man of the cloth who committed himself to the labor movement.
As the president of a state federation that represents more than 20,000 public employees, the sacrifices of this great man are not lost on me or any of the members of our federation. Though we'll always be sad that Dr. King did not get to live a long life, see his children grow up, and play with his grandchildren, we will forever be indebted to him for being the vocal conscious of this nation, calling on it to live up to every promise of equality.
On this day, we remember the assassin's bullet that struck Dr. King down on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, but moreover we are forced to remember what brought him to that balcony in Memphis - the labor movement, and a belief that working people are entitled to fair wages and decent working conditions. On this 50th anniversary of his death we go forward knowing James Earl Ray's gun may have shattered the body of the man, but the spirit of equality for all, in both racial and economic justice, live on forever in all of us who carry that message forward.