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Remembering Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- On April 4, 1968, the world was rocked by the murder of civil rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King.

King was shot by a sniper at a motel in Memphis. He was 39 years old.

At that time, Denise Gray of Williamsport was 11 years old and living with her family in Brooklyn.

"I just remember it was only one TV in the house, and it was in black and white, and I remember everyone being saddened in disbelief," Gray recalled.

Now, a half-century later, Gray met Newswatch 16 at a community center in Williamsport to look back. For her and so many others, memories of Dr. King's life carry with it hope and uncensored emotion.

"When you know what someone stands for and then someone takes their life because he stands for that, that's a lot to take in," said Gray.

"It's still a little emotional thinking about it even now right this moment," said Robin Robinson of Williamsport.

Many remember King as an iconic figure. Robinson actually met the civil rights leader several times. She recalls him as the man who preached at her grandmother's church and marched alongside her father, who at the time was the president of the NAACP in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

"He would come in our house and you know, as children, you're thinking something different, like why is this man coming in here kicking his shoes off and laying back and sitting like he belongs there, but that's what he did. Everywhere that he went that I was there he always acted like it was his. He felt at home," said Robinson.

Although Denise Gray never met Dr. King, she was greatly impacted by his life. Back in 2010, Gray jumped at the chance to teach black history at the YWCA in Williamsport. It's her way of giving back to continue to educate the next generation.

"And what he wanted us to do is love each other and educate each other, so it stayed with me. I'm a living example," Gray said.

Gray tells Newswatch 16 she hopes to continue teaching black history in Williamsport.

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