The Latest: Stevie Wonder releases 'Dream Still Lives' video - InfoNews

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The Latest: Stevie Wonder releases 'Dream Still Lives' video

Martin Luther King III, right, and Rev. Al Sharpton, second from right, join in a march commemorating the anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968, while in Memphis supporting striking sanitation workers. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
April 04, 2018 - 6:46 PM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Latest on commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Stevie Wonder has released a video featuring celebrities espousing the need to continue the works of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

Wonder says in the video released online Wednesday night that the teachings of the slain civil rights icon are still alive.

Former President Barack Obama, Samuel L. Jackson and Billie Jean King are among the dozens of artists, activists and athletes saying the "dream still lives," and calling for equal rights and peaceful co-existence.

At the end of the five-minute video, Wonder asks viewers to post their own dreams online.

Wonder was a proponent of creating the King national holiday. The King Center in Atlanta says Wonder in 1980 released the song "Happy Birthday" celebrating King and advocating for the holiday. In 1982, Coretta Scott King and Wonder presented a petition with more than 6 million signatures supporting a King holiday to the speaker of the U.S. House of representatives. The holiday was approved in 1983.

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6:05 p.m.

Bells in Memphis and Atlanta are ringing to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

The crowd gathered outside Memphis' old Lorraine Motel where King was shot on April 4, 1968, fell silent Wednesday evening as the bell began to ring there. A red and white wreath was placed on the balcony where he had been standing.

Moments later, the Rev. Al Green sang "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," the song King had requested moments before he was killed at age 39.

In Atlanta, King family members pulled a rope together to ring a bell 39 times at the pool surrounding the crypt of King and wife Coretta Scott King. The family then laid a wreath of multicolored flowers in front of the crypt.

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This item has corrected the name of the song "Take My Hand, Precious Lord."

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4:35 p.m.

A crowd is gathered at the site where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 50 years ago in Memphis, Tennessee.

Hundreds gathered Wednesday afternoon outside the old Lorraine Motel, which is now the National Civil Rights Museum.

A large screen showed excerpts of his final speech, and a 120-year-old, 1,700-pound bell brought to the museum sits ready for ringing. Speakers addressed the crowd from the old motel's balcony, where King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

President Barack Obama addressed the crowd by video on the screen. He says progress has been made in civil rights, but more needs to be done.

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2:30 p.m.

A relative of one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s chief opponents is honouring the slain civil rights leader on the anniversary of his death.

The daughter of former Alabama governor and one-time segregationist George Wallace, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, participated in an event Wednesday commemorating King in Montgomery, Alabama.

King got his start in civil rights in Montgomery, where he led a boycott over segregated city buses.

Kennedy was among nine people to read from King's speeches at Alabama's main history museum. Kennedy tells The Associated Press that King's teachings are needed now more than ever because "it seems like our country is moving backward."

George Wallace survived an assassination attempt while running for president in 1972. He renounced his segregationist views in later years.

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1:25 p.m.

Thousands are marching through a Tennessee city to honour the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Memphis Police spokesman Louis Brownlee says the department's aircraft estimated that as many as 10,000 or so had gathered for the march on Wednesday.

The march started in the early afternoon with a mix of emotions and ages. Some marchers were smiling and chanting; others were staring ahead with serious looks on their faces.

Some marched arm-in-arm, while others held signs saying "I Am a Man" in honour of a 1968 sanitation workers strike that King was supporting at the time of his death. People sang "We Shall Overcome."

The marchers included Martin Luther King III, Al Sharpton, Bernie Sanders and Andrew Young.

At age 91, civil rights leader the Rev. James Lawson was also marching. He noted that he has been part of the struggle for 50 years, telling a reporter: "I'm still anxious and frustrated. The task is unfinished."

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12:15 p.m.

The rapper Common and pop singer Sheila E have the crowd dancing and bobbing their heads before the start of a march honouring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Common performed his poignant song "Glory," which was featured in the film Selma. He finished his performance by raising his fist and bowing his head.

Singer Goapele also performed to the crowd of hundreds.

The performances took place at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee.

King was in Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers when he was killed in 1968.

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11:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says it's up to people, not the government, to achieve the ideals expressed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Trump's comments came in a White House proclamation issued Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of King's slaying in Memphis, Tennessee.

Trump proclamation echoes King's own words in saying: "We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters lest we perish together as fools." And he says it's the people of the United States, not government, who will achieve King's goals.

Trump proclaimed the anniversary as a day to honour King. He also sent a tweet about King's legacy.

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10:45 a.m.

As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., two lawyers were awarded a prize celebrating his legacy of nonviolence.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize was presented Wednesday by King's daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, to Benjamin Ferencz and Bryan Stevenson at the King Center in Atlanta.

Ferencz, who recently turned 99, prosecuted Nazi war crimes. He cracked jokes before turning serious and urging the audience to never give up on things that are important.

Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and has devoted his career to helping the poor, those in prison and death row inmates. He said he's always drawn inspiration from King and said it's important to continue to demand justice for those who are treated unfairly.

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10:30 a.m.

Thousands have gathered in Memphis for events to commemorate the anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

One of them was 73-year-old Fredna White from Waco, Texas. She's retired from the department of Veterans Affairs.

She said the commemoration of King's assassination brings the issues he fought for back to the forefront — such as equality and economic justice.

She said: "This a good reminder to tell us to get back with it, work it, united for all the causes."

She said the diverse nature of the crowd gives her hope that "there may be some coming together of our country, our people, our nation."

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10:05 a.m.

The daughter of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is calling him "the apostle of nonviolence" on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

The Rev. Bernice King said Wednesday her father was known as a civil rights leader and great orator, and he was both of those things. But she says his message of nonviolence is a vital part of his legacy.

She spoke during a ceremony to award the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize held at the King Center in Atlanta.

The award was being presented to Benjamin Ferencz, a lawyer who prosecuted Nazi war crimes, and Bryan Stevenson, a public interest lawyer who founded and heads the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.

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9:50 a.m.

The Indianapolis park where Robert Kennedy called for peace and unity just hours after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. is being designated a National Historic Site.

A bill approved by Congress for the designation was signed by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday's events at the park marking the 50th anniversary of King's death.

The park near downtown Indianapolis is where Kennedy was to make an April 1968 presidential campaign speech, but instead told the crowd of King's assassination and asked for a nonviolent reaction.

Participants in Wednesday's event included Georgia congressman and 1960s civil rights activist John Lewis and Robert Kennedy's daughter, Kerry Kennedy.

Indianapolis Rep. Andre Carson says he hopes the historic designation is a reminder of the need for non-violence and tolerance.

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9:05 a.m.

Hundreds of people gathered at a union headquarters Wednesday morning hours before a march marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.

Workers at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees office chanted, banged drums and held signs saying "I Am" — one of the slogans for events surrounding the anniversary of King's death. One man hauled a cart full of commemorative T-shirts he was selling for $10.

Andre Gipson, the local president for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, says about 400 members from other cities are in Memphis for the march. He says the march promised to be a "very special" event for workers.

People were bundled up on a chilly yet sunny morning.

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For AP's complete coverage on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, go to https://apnews.com/tag/MartinLutherKingJr

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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