Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King addresses participants of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Dr. King, an eloquent minister, champion of civil rights, and revolutionary, gave his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech — a brilliant mixture of sermon, allegory, and a candid outpour of empathy towards the disenfranchised. In it, he called for an end to the Jim Crow laws of racial segregation and invoked the true, uncompromising spirit of a constitutional America: one of a unified, egalitarian, and progressive society. His remarkable address would help the Kennedy Administration pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, just after a year of his monolithic speech, and to this day represents one of the hallmarks of fairness and equality between races worldwide.
MARTIN LUTHER KING: EXPANDED TRANSCRIPT
Martin Luther King Jr, an activist, humanitarian and Baptist minister was born in 1929 and passed away after an assassination in April 1968. Dr. King led the African-American Civil Rights Movement from the mid-1950s. He is famous for his part in the progression of civil rights through peaceful civil defiance founded on his beliefs as a Christian.
Throughout his life, Dr. King organized and led protests for the voting rights of black people, labor rights, desegregation and other basic rights. His campaigns often utilized nonviolent but provocative tactics. Martin Luther King’s main legacy was that most of these rights were effectively enacted into the United States law. Globally, he was a source of motivation for the then South African leader, Albert Lutuli, who fought for racial fairness.
Montgomery Bus Boycott
In 1955, Dr. King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a crusade to force racial assimilation of the city’s bus lines. The conditions were so edgy that Dr. King was detained. After almost 381 days of universal participation, the Supreme Court passed a law that illegalized racial segregation in transport. His role in this boycott made him into a public figure and an excellent spokesman for civil rights.
Dr. King became the Southern Christian Leadership Conference president in 1957. The SCLC was an organization formed to control the ethical authority and to manage the power of African-American churches to carry out peaceful demonstrations to fight for civil rights reform. During the SCLC’s Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in 1957, Dr. King lectured to a national audience for the first time.
In 1963, Dr. King led a peaceful protest that targeted Birmingham, Alabama. By then, it was America’s most segregated city.The campaign utilized nonviolent but provocative tactics. The African-American population in Birmingham organized with SCLC and openly violated laws they deemed unjust by occupying public spaces with sit-ins and marches. The ensuing cruelty of the police was exemplified vividly by televised images of assault on youthful blacks by dogs and water jets. It caused a nationwide outrage that resulted in the lobbying for exceptional legislation of civil rights.
Selma to Montgomery Marches
In 1965, Dr. King assisted in organizing the Selma to Montgomery marches. The next year, in collaboration with SCLC, he took the movement to Chicago to protest against segregated housing.
MARTIN LUTHER KING T-SHIRT
Martin Luther King: “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” It took 13 years boycotts, protests, speeches, and jail time for Dr. King’s dream to become a reality.
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