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The Daily Need

An original Freedom Rider remembers his last hours with Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Rev. Bernard Lafayette, right, with Dr. Martin Luther King at a news conference in Atlanta on January 16, 1968. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly)

In honor Martin Luther King Day, Need to Know spoke with Bernard Lafayette, an original Freedom Rider and one of the organizers of the Selma march protesting voter discrimination during the civil rights movement, about his last hours with King before King’s assassination on April 4, 1968:

Martin Luther King said if you haven’t found something in life that you’re willing to die for, you’ve not yet lived. I spoke with him in Memphis on April 4th. I was there, because I was national coordinator for the poor people’s campaign. And I remember my last words with him. He said to me, “Bernard, the next thing we’re gonna do is to institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence.” Five hours later, when I landed in Washington, that’s when I learned he’d been assassinated.

Tune in this week on Need to Know for the full interview with Lafayette, on whether new laws making it harder for Americans to vote are a step back for racial equality.

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