MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Thousands gathered at the National Civil Rights Museum to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his national day of service.
As Memphis celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s rich legacy of peace, unity and equality, the city is battling the very violence King stood against.
17 days into the new year, Memphis has recorded 15 homicides. Police say 11 of those were murders. Two of the victims were children.
Soulsville Charter School senior Rylan Ellis says social media plays a large role in recent violence and he believes Dr. King would stay up-to-date to spread his message of positivity.
“The violence is an ongoing problem that has definitely been around forever,” he said. “He’s probably have Instagram or something like that to show and still speak his word on what needs to change.”
Today, the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Jacob Blake, all well-known victims of police brutality, met at the National Civil Rights Museum with the hope to send the message that there is power in uniting against senseless violence.
“We have to go beyond the dream because if we are caught up in the dream then we are asleep,” said Jacob Blake Sr. “He gave us the answer to the dream so we must implement those things.”
“No matter how old you are you can step outside your comfort zone and use your voice. Any one of us can do that. We have to hold each other accountable,” said George Floyd’s cousin Paris Stevens.
Those words were also echoed by Reginald Small who after getting a drug charge is determined to be the change he wishes to see in the world.
“I think we should all come together with unity to get things better because we have young kids growing up and we need to be role models for them,” Small said.