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Howard students demonstrate after King’s murder: 1968 | by Washington Area Spark
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Howard students demonstrate after King’s murder: 1968

Howard University students shut down the campus and stage a demonstration April 5, 1968 following the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


At a memorial service that day at Crampton Auditorium, students filed into the building singing “Precious Lord,” a hymn King requested to be sung in Memphis.


Student body president Ewart Brown told the crowd, “The act which took the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King serves as an indictment of white society…I think it would be wise for white Americans to realize that in taking this man’s life they have erased part of the buffer zone.”


Stokely Carmichael addressed the crowd and warned them to “Stay off the streets if you don’t have a gun, because there’s going to be shooting.”


According to the Washington Post, Carmichael repeated the phrase over and over with rising intensity “and then brandished a pistol. There were cheers.”


Howard University cancelled classes.


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Photo by Bernie Boston. The image is courtesy of the D.C. Public Library Washington Star Collection © Washington Post.


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Taken on April 5, 1968