Twelfth Baptist Church Reverend Asks, 'What Would Martin Luther King Do?'09:02

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Massachusetts is remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday and, in Boston, state and local leaders marked the national holiday at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial breakfast at the Convention Center. Among those who paid tribute to the slain civil rights leader was Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey.

"Just think, 50 years ago Barack Obama would not have been president of the United States of America if Martin Luther King had not lived," said Sen. Markey. "And as we gather to celebrate this great man we must ask ourselves, 'What would Dr. King say about the state of our nation today?' He explained that the struggle must be for genuine equality, which more importantly means economic equality as well. And now, ladies and gentleman, five decades later, Dr. King's words and work resonate because, while today our society is more affluent overall, it is much more unequal economically."

Martin Luther King, Jr. had deep roots in Boston. In the 1950s, he studied theology at Boston University. He returned in April 1965 to address the Massachusetts legislature — the first legislature in the country to invite him to speak.

We caught up with one of King's close associates from Boston, the Rev. Michael Haynes, who is the former pastor of the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury. That's where he first met King 60 years ago. Haynes said that when he follows the news, it often makes him ask, what would Martin Luther King do? Among the stories that have prompted that question lately: the gunning down of political cartoonists in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters and the protests over the murders of unarmed black men by police in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City.


Rev. Michael Haynes, former pastor of the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury.

This segment aired on January 19, 2015.