Mike Jones remembers being “shocked but not surprised” when he heard that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been murdered.
The assassination of the civil rights leader occurred a half-century ago this week in Memphis, Tennessee, when Jones was a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.
“The forces in America that have been against black progress have always taken black lives,” Jones said during a St. Louis on the Air conversation marking the 50-year anniversary of King’s death. “Black lives have always had less value in America. And men and women who actually fight for that kind of change usually do not live to be old men or old women, so no, you wouldn’t be surprised.”