I had just turned 10 in April 1968 and though not very aware of the world beyond my segregated suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood, I remember hearing of the assassination of Dr. King and feeling, somehow, it was a major loss for humanity.
Years later, after much study of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. and on Dr. King in particular, I consider him to be one of all-time great Christian leaders—understanding as well as anyone—the cost of discipleship and how to live a life for others.
Fifty years later, the Promised Land still seems far off. In the housing arena, the racial disparity in homeownership rates is persistently great.
There are glimpses, though. I see a glimpse of the Promised Land every time Habitat sells a home to a family. On a small scale, we are doing our part to ease the racial disparity in homeownership. When we hear objections from neighbors about who will purchase and occupy the Habitat homes and we stand up and advocate for our families—we see another little glimpse. When we come together, across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines to build homes alongside families dreaming of owning their own home—the Promised Land comes a little clearer into focus.
Check out the text of Dr. King’s final public address in Memphis on the evening of April 4, 1968: