On this day, forty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN as he spoke out in support of striking sanitation workers. The SF Chronicle has run an interesting article imagining what King would be up to if he were still alive.
However, I want to take some time out to recognize a person who will not receive as much attention on this day as Dr. King. Bobby Hutton, or “L’il Bobby” as he was called, was the youngest member of the Black Panthers at the age of 16, and one of its first members. Bobby was assassinated by the Oakland Police Department three days after King’s death. What the FBI and the rest of the state’s agents will not ever tell us is how influential the Black Panthers were in keeping the streets of Oakland calm following King’s death, as the rest of the inner city’s in the country erupted in violent uprisings, symbolic of the frustration, anger and grief of having one of the greatest human rights leaders the world has ever seen stolen from us.
We have not forgotten you, brother. Power to the people.