I'll never know about people--
if the soft thing in the stomach can be cut out--
because I missed all the wars--
but when I learned that non
violence kills you anyway
I wished I could do it I wished I
“King: April 4, 1968 (for Eva Ray)”
Gerald Barrax, 1980
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a 1967 portrait.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated. King, his work, and his assassination continue to be important subjects in African American literature. In the coming decades, poets like Margaret Walker, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, Quincy Troupe, Gerald Barrax, Sonia Sanchez, and June Jordan will write about King.