Martin Luther King III, Arndrea Waters King, Yolanda Renee King, Memphis

King Family Revisits Memphis On The 56th Anniversary Of Dr. MLK Jr’s Assassination 

Your legacy is in good hands, Dr. King!

Family members of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made a rare appearance at the site where King was assassinated 56 years ago. 

Martin Luther King III, his wife, Andrea Waters King, and daughter, Yolanda, visited the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where King was shot and killed on April 4, 1968, while supporting the sanitation workers’ strike.

Amid the rise in political violence and hate crimes, the family’s visit marked an opportunity to celebrate the memory of Dr. King while history is under attack. “Many memories are swirling around in my head. After 56 years, this day comes every year and I have to think about how the life of myself and my siblings and my mom changed in just a few minutes,” King said with his wife by his side during a press conference. 

“Because we lost, my mother lost a husband, my siblings and I lost a father, and the nation lost in one sense gleaned and gained a message of movement that has transformed our nation and our world and continues to reverberate.” 

He touched on how Dr. King did more than dream but put those dreams to work. MLK III also highlighted how his father and his team, consisting of several fellow civil rights leaders like the late Sen. John Lewis, worked tirelessly to see a change in this country. He asked why the nation has not been able to move forward since. “His team moved our nation in a very forward direction, which leads us to 56 years later, wondering why have we not moved further?”

The Kings came to the museum together as a family for the first time during the summer of 2023. However, the recent visit was the first time MLK III’s family all reminisced on the civil rights activist’s passing at the site of his death.

“My husband’s father wasn’t there when we got married or for the birth of our daughter,” Waters King said, according to WREG Memphis. “I think about the fact that he is not here with us and what could’ve been, and that part is very, very difficult.”

MLK III noted the similarities between fighting for democracy today and the sanitation workers fighting to be treated fairly in 1968. In honor of the work being done, the King family announced that 16 grassroots programs and initiatives across the country will receive grant funding from the Drum Major Institute, a foundation founded by the family based on Dr. King’s ideologies to preserve democracy. 

Providing funding for initiatives will help bring dreams to life. “Individuals have made progress, but masses have still not moved much,” he said. “Realizing the dream is very real and must happen.”