Pastor James Dixon calls it “otherness,” loving others enough to die for their benefit. That’s what he credits to the late Martin Luther King Jr. nearly 50 years after the civil rights leader’s death.
“He allowed his life to enter into the lives of others and not leave them the way he found them,” Dixon told Baptist Press (BP) in advance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15.
“If we’re going to keep his memory going, we’ve got to have that same type of otherness. And that otherness comes because we love people, and that love flows from God through us to the other.”
When Baptist Press queried a handful of Southern Baptists, including race relations trailblazers, about the life and work of King, responses painted a microcosm of African American life in the 1960s.
King was assassinated April 4, 1968, as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. He died that evening at St. Joseph’s Hospital at age 39, just a day after giving a sermon interpreted by some as foretelling his untimely death. His federal holiday was enacted in November 1983.
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