Can you imagine what life would be like in the United States today if Martin Luther King Jr. had not had such a large impact on civil rights and race relations?
I remember being in 6th grade and having three negro (that’s how we referred to Afro-Americans then), children bused into our primarily white school and how scared they looked on that first day. I tried to go out of my way to befriend them and volunteered to sit with Ella ( yes, I still remember her name and wonder where she is), and as a result was teased by some of my classmates.
Through his activism, Dr. King played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Prize in 1964, among several other honors. He was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech ” I Have a Dream.” His life and work have been honored with a national holiday, schools and public buildings named after him, and a memorial on Independence Mall in Washington D.C. He was truly a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means.
Do you think his dream still lives on the way he envisioned it?