Monday , 24 October 2016

One Man’s Dream; Celebrating the Life of A Civil Leader

( man’s dream, a dream that today has partially, but not fully came to realization. Some communities are still racially divided or using racially divisive words. Police brutality citing color, whether it is true or not, again still brings color into focus.

Over 50 years later, people are still reminded that “Black Lives Matter” or  more appropriately, based on the non-segregated  teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., that “All Lives Matter”. Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929, and this day is a Nationally recognized “floating” holiday, meaning it is celebrated the Monday that follows his birthday.

The civil right leader, pastor, and humanitarian was respected by people of all colors during a time where the racial segregation was acceptable in some states. King gave peace-inspired speeches based on his Christian beliefs making his protests peaceful. During a 1962 Birmingham, Alabama protest, authorities reacted in a brutal manner attracting national media attention.

The famous “I Have a Dream” speech was first delivered during the March of Washington on August 28, 1963. King did not only speak for the unsegregated rights of what he referred to as “colored” people but also spoke out against war and focused on poverty. On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership which demanded equality for all.

On April 4, 1968, King was shot and killed at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee as he planned the “Poor People’s Campaign”. The Poor People’s Campaign addressed unemployment, housing shortages for the poor and the impact of poverty on all people regardless of racial background.

His murder, at the age of 39, sparked anger and riots.  James Earl Ray, the man responsible for his death, was believed by some people to be part of a government plot to remove King, who was a proven  powerful civil rights leader.

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About Christie Martin

Former contributor for Victor Valley News

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