Wednesday marked the 50 year anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination.
At Church of the Covenant on Euclid, bells rang out 39 times, one for each year of King’s life.
“He was a beacon of light for my family and myself,” said 82-year-old Shirley Thompson.
On Wednesday Thompson stood in the parking lot of Church of the Covenant as the bells tolled from the same place Clevelanders boarded busses to join King for the march on Washington in 1963.
Thompson, born and raised Cleveland, lived through segregation here.
She saw firsthand the Hough riots in July 1966.
Born in 1935, Shirley Thompson is a living history book.
“Yes I am because I remember when I would have been turned away from a restaurant simply because of my race. The color of my skin,” Thompson says.
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