A half century after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s death, celebrities have been remembering him and reflecting on how much progress has been made in racial equality in the decades since his assassination.
“The fact that I’m walking this carpet starring in a movie, that’s the impact he had on my life,” said Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson.
“There has been progress. Humanity is a very interesting prospect in itself. Humanity marches forward and somehow pulls itself back a little bit. I guess so we can keep marching forward,” said actress Phylicia Rashad.
Television host and musician Nick Cannon quoted King himself.
“He said it the best: we’ve come so far, but boy, do we have a long way to go. And, you know, I think it’s an honor. I mean he’s probably one of the greatest spirits to ever touch this planet for so many different reasons. Just as his ability to communicate with all his giant heart. But then, ultimately, just his connection. And I feel like that’s, you know, that’s felt still to this day “, Cannon said.
For producer and mother of Beyonce, Tina Knowles “What Martin Luther King means to me? Well he’s our hero. He’s one of our great heroes. Just an amazing man and a great legacy.”
A Baptist pastor and civil rights activist, King worked to end legal segregation of blacks in the United States. He gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the August 1963 March on Washington, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at age 35 – the youngest man to have received the award.
King, 39, was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968.