Annan was one of the world's most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become its first black African leader.
On a 1957 trip to Ghana in connection with its independence from Britain, King and his wife, Coretta, learned the sordid story of colonial oppression.
She was not only a grass-roots organizer, but a philosopher, a teacher and a revolutionary. She devoted her life to empowering the poor, the working class and communities of color, and was deeply involved with a constellation of movements.
Professor Kofi Awoonor, former chairman of Kenya's Council of State and a poet of African decolonization, was among those killed in the attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi on Saturday.
It seems that President Obama has finally taken Africa seriously -- and in a way that doesn't look like Bush-era health funding that reeks of an infomercial for Christian charity. In a speech on Saturday, Obama is expected to focus on the importance of democratic governance on the continent and will make the ending of conflicts a key diplomatic initiative.
President Bush had been laying low over recent days, but it seems his inner circle considered it prudent to trot him out for a brief appearance at the White House. He surfaced on Thursday to speak vaguely about the snowballing economic crisis on Wall Street before disappearing once again.