Martin Luther King Jr.: A TIME Forum

What If He Were Alive Today?

Four of King's close associates who later achieved their own successes offer their thoughts:
Marian Wright Edelman
President of the Children's Defense Fund Everybody is looking for Dr. King to come back. The issues were very clear-cut back then. Now it's about technical matters, monitoring government agencies. And how do you relate the complex relationships of injustices and basic wrongs and needy children with the legalese and legislation needed to right them to the general public? Dr. King's vision was clear; the voice was clear. That clarity was a great loss. While we're all looking for the heroes of the '60s, a strong foundation has been laid. It spawned the next phase in taking our nation where it needs to get. Now the task is to honor them in our deeds. His words are still the framework. Where is the voice today? We're it. We've got to make the leaders hear it. He did his part. Now we need to do ours.

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