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4 April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of one of the greatest figures in political history, Martin Luther King Jnr. On 4 April 1968 he was gunned down at the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, by James Earl Ray, a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary, who was arrested in June at London Airport. Ray was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary but died before he could serve his full term.
King’s family and others believe the assassination was part of a government conspiracy but no one would believe that the US establishment was capable of such a thing.
Although King never came to Manchester, this city is integral to the story of the civil rights of America’s black population. In the 18th century the local economy was buoyed by the transatlantic slave trade. In the 19th century Manchester led the fight against slavery and established a dynamic relationship with Abraham Lincoln.
On the 50th anniversary of Dr king’s death we pay tribute to Manchester’s progressive role in the battle for emancipation and egalitarianism with this unusual guided tour. We will recall stories about leading black activists Jomo Kenyatta, Paul Robeson and Steve Biko who interacted with the city in the most surprising ways, and recall the legacy of slavery.