Discussion Question Response


Based on your reading in the webtext, respond to the following prompt in one to two paragraphs.

Describe the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on the effort to expand civil rights for African Americans. How might the struggle for civil rights have evolved differently if Dr. King had not been killed?

Be sure to answer the following questions in your post:

  • What were one or two specific consequences of Dr. King’s assassination?
  • Do you think these events would have taken place even if Dr. King had not been assassinated? Why or why not?

In response to your peers, explain whether you agree or disagree with their conclusions. Provide specifics reasons as to why or why not.


Chris Dean – This week’s discussion has us looking at the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights is always a topic that I’ve loved to study. What the prompt fails to tell you is what the Civil Rights Movement looked like when King was assassinated. By 1968, the movement had split into a number of ways. Yes, King was for nonviolent resistance and other people/groups had begun to take a more militant stance against oppression. You had an entire generation that had known grown up in the movement and were tired of turning the other cheek or being the victim of violence and not seeing much to gain.

On the other hand, King had taken his fight against injustice to a new arena. He had begun to look at deeper causes of equality and tried to fight against social and economic factors. He led a struggle in Chicago to stop redlining, he was working on way to end poverty, he had come out against the Vietnam War, he had begun to champion for a type of democratic socialism/universal standard of living. The reason he was in Memphis (where he was killed) was to help out a strike led by sanitation workers.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that at that moment there were many in the movement who didn’t hold King as in high regard as he had been ten years before or even in current day. Yet, his death changed all that. It not only reminded us the evil that some people hold in their hearts, but that this system of oppression can strike at anyone. So, with that in mind, now what are the consequences of his assassination and had he not been killed, what would his later years and achievements have looked like?

Response –


Shannon Eyster – Dr. King was the symbol of equality, justice, and peace. He left a legacy of demanding that everyone is given the same rights and opportunities regardless of color, religion, or sex. A true warrior for the people. His impact is still felt today, as the same struggles, unfortunately, still exist. Dr. King was always about peaceful fighting, make an impact without violence. His death was so shocking to the country, such a tragic loss and so violent. Exactly the opposite of how he lived his life. The riots, violence, and unrest in the country that was a result of his death was a result and consequence of the pain and anger felt for losing their voice and leader. The outcries and violence were a result of his death, but not how he would have handled things, his control and voice were lost.


“It was a sad and dark hour,” Rep. Lewis says. “I didn’t know what was happening to this country, really. And for me, I felt like something had died in America. And I think something died in all of us.” -John Lewis


Imagining the impact Dr. King would have had on the world had he lived his full life is hard to imagine. After the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, his fight was far from over. He was working daily on the poverty and education of the black community. The inequality and underserved communities were highly impacted by his death and loss of the work he tireless fought for every day of his life. His passion and compassion were undeniable in everything he believed and championed for.


“All he could think of was how all people require attention. All people require respect. All people require acknowledgment. All people require love.”

― Tavis Smiley, Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year


Response –

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