Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are enriched beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change, we are going to have to change the system.
— Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967
The murder of Dr. King on April 4, 1968, marked a sea change in black America’s long, tortuous sojourn in this nation-state. Of course, assassination of black leaders and sympathizers has been a mainstay of American life from even before this country’s inception. Still, the Civil Rights and Black Power era of the ’50s and ’60s featured an especially gruesome series of murders that included, to name only a few of the most spectacular:
November 22, 1963, A date seared into everybody’s consciousness. We watched on live TV half of President John Kennedy’s head get blown off on that mid-morning in Dallas.
Robert F. Kennedy’s gut-wrenching take-down in Los Angeles a mere six weeks after Dr. King’s assassination.
Medgar Evers (top state NAACP executive) collapsed into a pool of his own blood under the relentless rain of rifle and shotgun fire on the steps of his own Mississippi home, also in ’63. Evers’ killing fit seamlessly between the rhythmic drumbeats of black church bombings across the south.
Then, on February 21 of 1965, Malcolm X’s enormous black heart was shredded by gunfire…