Today marks fifty years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.
Those who remember the civil rights leader are not only looking back at his legacy but ahead to the future too.
“We have to say: ‘we’ve come too far, we’re not going back, we’re going to build a beloved community. We’re going to redeem the soul of America,” say congressman John Lewis of Georgia.
Doctor King was just 39 when he was killed in Memphis.
His non-violent protest sparked a movement unparalleled today.
“He brought together preachers and rabbis. He brought together people of every walk of life, from every age and race and every geographic region of the country,” says California senator Kamala Harris
Colin Powell was the nation’s first African American secretary of state.
“The way that was made for me– was built, a large extent, by what Dr. King did by his great sacrifice,” Powell explains.
.Loretta Lynch made history as the first black woman attorney general, and believes King’s legacy lives on.
“Whether it’s the Me Too Movement, Black Lives Matter, the Parkland students, these youth-led movements are really a legacy of the Civil Rights Movement also,” Lynch says.
“I think the death of Martin Luther King Jr. — maybe, just maybe — took some of the steam out of the movement, but it didn’t stop the movement,” Congressman Lewis adds.
Dexter Scott King was just seven when his father died.
“If he had lived –I’m certain he would not have been as effective. Because he gave his life, he was martyred. And then you remember all of the positive things that he left behind,” MLK’s son says.
Positive things for the nation to savor, as Americans remember a leader who preached that only love can drive out hate.