BY THE DIVERSITY STORY
Though the Civil War had officially abolished slavery, it didn’t end discrimination against black people. Having had enough of all of the racism, this paved the path for the civil rights movement, which was during the 1950s and the 1960s for Black Americans to gain equal rights under the law of the U.S.
Famous Actions He Has Taken/Lead
MLK was a champion of nonviolent civil rights protest
Lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955
Created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a platform that allowed him to share his peaceful civil rights message to everyone in the world
While jailed in Birmingham Alabama Jail for peaceful protest, he wrote a letter regarding his nonviolent philosophy
1963 - With other leaders, he led a march for equal rights in Washington, D.C., followed by over 200,000 people. This was the site of his famous “I Have a Dream” Speech (next slide)
I Have a Dream Speech
Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington to a crowd of 250,000 people. The speech, which was regarded as an outstanding highlight of the protest, remains to be one of the most famous speeches in history. Dr. King’s powerful opening words reflected the struggles of African Americans, while his iconic “I have a dream” statements voiced his dreams of equality.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, an excerpt of his “I Have A Dream” speech is included below:
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”
Image From: AP Photo
His Legacy and Impact on Today
Martin Luther King Jr. remains an inspiration for the continuation of advocacy in all communities. Many advocates both young and old, look to King as an example of using nonviolent techniques to fight against an unjust cause. For example, the recent Black Lives Matter protests are using King’s quote “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere” as a slogan to fight against systemic racism. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy lies in that fact that his actions in the past inspire many to take action in the present.