One was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. The other, June 5, 1993, in Sacramento, California.
One was married and had four children. The other was single and had a 4-year-old son.
One lived in Atlanta, Georgia, and periodically made business trips to Memphis. The other moved there from California just before the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
One liked to play baseball as a child. The other enjoyed skateboarding.
One was the youngest of three children. The other, the youngest of four.
As a young man, one knew he would be a preacher. The other considered becoming a police officer.
For one, his favorite food was pecan pie. For the other, his mother’s homemade chicken with sesame seeds.
One was a world-renowned civil rights leader and a recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize. The other worked alongside his stepfather at FedEx and was an aspiring photographer.
One knelt and prayed during the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery. The other was pleased to see police officers kneeling with protestors after the murder of George Floyd, writing on his Facebook page, “Humanity is SLOWLY being restored.”
In the hours before his death, one was in strategy meetings in his hotel room. The other drove around Memphis taking photos of the skyline as the sun was setting.
One spoke to his mother less than an hour before stepping out onto the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The other called out his mother’s name in vain for help.
One was shot in the jaw and died less than an hour later in an emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The other sat on the ground bloodied waiting for medical attention for close to one hour and died three days later at St. Francis Hospital.
One died at age 39. The other, age 29.
When one died, he was already known to the world. It was only when the other died that the world first learned about him.
One died three hundred ninety-one miles from home. The other was assaulted less than one hundred yards from home and died less than five miles away.
One did not even hear the shot. The other knew he was being beaten to death.
Less than 24 hours before his death, one bravely gave what would be his last speech, knowing that he had reached the end of his young life. The other was working alongside his stepfather at FedEx, had the world ahead of him, and had no idea that he had less than 72 hours to live.
One was assassinated by a White racist gunman, James Earl Ray. The other died as a result of a vicious beating by five Black police officers who seemingly hate their own people: Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills, Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley and Justin Smith.
When one died, his wife received a call offering condolences from President Lyn- don B. Johnson. When the other died, his parents received a call from President Joe Biden.
Less than one week after one died, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act of 1968. After the death of the other, Congress should pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
One died on April 4, 1968. The other, Jan. 10, 2023.
One died while organizing another march for better pay and work conditions for Black Memphis sanitation workers. The other identified with the Black Lives Movement after the death of George Floyd under the knee of a White, racist, Minneapolis police officer.
No one was recording the death of one. The death of the other was recorded by the police and a street camera.
The last words of one were, “Play Precious Lord.” The other yelled “Mom” three times.
With one, medical aid was immediately rendered by medics and police officers. For the other, the police and medics stood by and did nothing.
The killer of one died in prison 38 years after his crime. The other five killers, as well as any others involved, will also hopefully die in prison.
Tyre Nichols explained to officers, as he pleaded for them to stop beating him, that all he “was trying to go home.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was undoubtedly among those who welcomed Tyre with a warm embrace to his new home in Heaven.