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Tribute to MLK: The Meaning of Community

Today, April 4, marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. The CLC has asked several Texas Baptists to write on aspects of Dr. King’s ministry and influence. This is the third article.

By Michael A. Evans, Sr.

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the brutal assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., we must acknowledge that his hopes for a unified nation continue to be a dream that the people of the 21st century must strive to attain.

Dr. King was adamant that the next great challenge to face our nation was not racism but classism. The fact that millions of people in the United States were stricken by the demon of poverty and the specter of food insufficiency haunted him and caused an uneasiness in his soul that would be perplexing to some of his closest allies. . . .

It was his final mission in life that led him to Memphis to trumpet the aforementioned causes on behalf of hard working black sanitation workers. He believed no person should be paid less because of their race or station in life.

The root of southern hatred was born out of a sense of social insecurity, a threat that one group would gain power over another. When one group feels as if it can only survive by suppressing the rights of others -- voting rights, rights to earn equal pay for equal work and the list goes on -- there will always be division and never community.

Community is defined as “the people with common interests living in a particular area.” As Dr. King noted in his book Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos to Community?, we are truly living in “one world house.” However separate our society and even our world, we live on an ever shrinking planet bound together by technology which places humanity in constant contact with diverse people groups on a daily basis...

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