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King Murder

“You can kill the dreamer, but you cannot kill the dream,” was the defiant message delivered by a close compatriot of Martin Luther King more than four decades after his death.

“‘You can kill the dreamer, but you cannot kill the dream.’ More than four decades after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., that was the defiant message given Sunday by the man King spent his last hour alive with. Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal and state holiday. Hundreds of worshippers packed into St. Sabina Church on the South Side to hear the Rev. Samuel ‘Billy’ Kyles speak on the eve of the holiday honoring King. The veteran civil rights campaigner and pastor of Monumental Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., gave a lighthearted sermon, before recounting the horror of April 4, 1968. Witnessing King’s murder, Kyles said, was ‘like a nightmare, but the nightmare was that I was awake.’ Kyles had invited King to Memphis to speak at a rally in support of striking sanitation workers a day earlier. But the famous ‘mountaintop’ speech in which King seemed to predict his imminent death almost never happened, Kyles said.”


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