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Public reading of Dr. King Jr.'s speech held in Santa Maria

Martin Luther King Jr.
Posted at 5:46 PM, Apr 04, 2022

The Poor People’s Campaign - Central Coast hosted a commemorative public reading of “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” Monday at 4:30 p.m. in front of Santa Maria City Hall.

This event comes 55 years after its first presentation — delivered by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Riverside Church in New York City and exactly one year prior to his assassination.

The free gathering was designed to honor the life and legacy of King in recognition of the controversial speech, believed by some to be a huge mistake and by others as one of his most important, according to organizers. It was read in sections by both English and Spanish-speakers.

The community organization builds off of King’s first Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. According to their Facebook page, the organization is “a moral fusion movement to 1) amplify the voices of people impacted by interlocking injustices and 2) build power to change policy.”

Similar events are happening in Santa Barbara and throughout the state.