R 160
2018 -- S 2769
Enacted 04/04/2018

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Metts, Ruggerio, Lombardi, Felag, and P Fogarty
Date Introduced: April 04, 2018

     WHEREAS, On the tragic day of April 4, 1968, our nation suffered a grievous loss when
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis,
Tennessee; and
     WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia,
to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and Alberta Williams King. Dr. King graduated from
Booker T. Washington High School where he became known for his public speaking skills and
his proficiency in debating. A child of the South, he lived and experienced firsthand the effects of
segregation, racism and the injustices of the prevalent Jim Crow laws; and
     WHEREAS, At the age of 15, Dr. King passed the entrance exam and entered Morehouse
College where he graduated in 1948 with a degree in sociology and subsequently enrolled in
Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a Divinity
degree in 1951. Dr. King married Coretta Scott in 1953 and later earned a Ph.D. in Systemic
Theology from Boston University in 1955. Upon graduation he embarked on a public service
career that literally changed the world; and
     WHEREAS, Dr. King's life from 1955 until his death was one of complete selfless
service to the cause of justice. The combination of his powerful oratory skills, incredible
charisma, inexhaustible energy, and personal integrity allowed him to hold a mirror up to our
nation and remind us that we never fully lived up to the promises of freedom and equality
guaranteed in our Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence; and
     WHEREAS, Beginning with Rosa Parks and the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott in
1955, to the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, which organized
the African-American churches and their immense moral authority to support and conduct non-
violent protests in support of civil rights, to the Birmingham Campaign in protest of racial
segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, to the March on Washington and his poetically historic and
magnificent "I have a Dream Speech", and on to Selma, Alabama, Dr. King became the face and
voice of the American Civil Rights movement; and
     WHEREAS, Whether Dr. King was talking to Presidents, foreign leaders and dignitaries,
or a humble janitor, he always had the same demeanor and his message never veered from the
righteous truth of Justice and equality and that God calls all of us to love our neighbors as much
as we love ourselves. His message of love, hope, non-violence and racial equality opened the
hearts of millions, motivated countless people to devote their lives to the causes of equality and
justice and moved a nation to begin the process of taking steps towards becoming a society in
which one is truly judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. His
assassination 50 years ago is as painful today as it was that tragic day on April 4, 1968; now,
therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
and calls on all Rhode Islanders to never waver and to rededicate ourselves to the goals of justice
and equality for all; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Providence Branch NAACP.