SAN ANTONIO-Karla Broadus remembers the life times of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr like yesterday.
"If you follow Dr. King that 10 year span where he was powerful," Broadus said. "Many of us can't say that we've achieved what he achieved in that 10 year span of life."
Broadus is the director of African-American studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She also lived in the times where riding on the back of the bus and saw 'colored only' on water fountains.
"I grew up in Atlanta and went to a church one block away from Ebenezer Baptist Church," She said.
Ebenezer Baptist Church was the pastoral home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Nettie Hinton was working in Washington D.C. in 1963. She went to witness and participate in the March on Washington where Dr. King delivered his iconic 'I Have a Dream' speech.
"It was just a wonderful wonderful experience," Hinton said.
The effect of Jim Crow did not escape her. Hinton recalls not being able to eat at many establishments in San Antonio or try on clothing in department stores.
Both women remember the night Dr. King fell prey to an assassin. It was April 4, 1968 in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel. The civil rights leader was gunned down on the balcony shortly after 6 p.m. He was dead an hour later.
"You understood that everyday he woke up could have been his last day unless he shut up," Hinton said. "And, he wasn't going to do that so they shut him up."
Hinton said the fatal shooting was shocking but didn't come as a surprise.
Broadus believes King's death pushed the civil rights movement into a new normal.
"I think it did two things. It put fear in people wanting to stand out," Broadus said. "But it also jolted us to march on."
Hinton and Broadus agree King's death brought about a collective awakening in the civil rights movement. Those who sought equal rights had to come together.