Incarceration Nation

Remembering Martin King

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

In the 20th Century few names (especially of Black people) ring louder than that of Martin Luther King.

His life, his dedication to the civil rights movement and his martyrdom in April 1968, made him a global icon of social justice.

Born in 1929, if he were not martyred, he would be enjoying his 90th year of life. But he was martyred, and too, he was considered an enemy of the state.


Because he didn’t end his struggle at the March on Washington, and his “I Have A Dream” speech wasn’t his last word on the subject.

His speech at Riverside Church (in New York), where he denounced the Vietnam War, capitalism, militarism and racism, marked him as a man now walking the road of radicalism, albeit almost alone.

He was denounced by major media (like the Washington Post, for example), and betrayed by his so-called allies in the civil rights movement, like the NAACP.

And because the U.S. government and police considered him a communist, he was killed on April 4th, 1968, a year to the day of his Riverside speech. He was on the side of the poor, the oppressed, the damned, the “wretched of the earth.” He was against materialism, greed and (remember?) capitalism.

If you want to remember him, remember him—but as he really was—an Enemy of the State.

Prison Radio, January 18, 2019