Two score, eleven years ago, the greatest demonstration for freedom went down in the history of the nation. Undoubtedly one of, if not THE most, elaborate and pivotal efforts for the betterment of a unified America, was led by the amazing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many recognize the Reverend Doctor for his iconic I Have a Dream speech, but let us not forget his amassment of accolades both preceding and following the famous oration.
In this day in age, it’s not hard to pull together a massive throng of people together for a concert, a party, a sports game, etc. However, can you imagine being responsible for leading a demonstration with approximately a quarter of a million people? MLK called for the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, with a turn out of roughly 250,000 people with hearts ready to fight for freedom. If that, in itself, is not amazing enough, Dr. King had several other accomplishments as well. By the age of 15, he had already graduated from high school and went on to college. Four years later, he went on for his masters. In the same year that he earned his PhD in Systematic Theology, King was elected the president of the Montgomery Improvement association, which simultaneously made him the spokesman for the bus boycott induced by Rosa Parks.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the civil rights movement for 12 years before he was assassinated. Prior to, he was arrested 30 times as a result of his tireless strides towards socioeconomic development. He was stabbed, he was featured on the cover of Time magazine as Man of the Year, visited Ghandi in India to learn about nonviolence, published ten books, initiated countless demonstrations including the freedom ride, which resulted in the passing of laws that encouraged desegregation. He was also stoned by Black Muslims in Harlem, but that still didn’t hold him back from earning a Nobel peace prize, and continuing his work towards having several acts passed that would guarantee equality rights for people of color; voting, housing, employment, and many others.
MLK’s relentlessness and passion towards equality is the reason why many of us can do practically anything without regards to the color of our skin, but rather, the content of our character. He is the reason why our kids are not bound by the chains of discrimination and the manacles of segregation. He is the one who made our ancestors dream a reality; the reason why we can go to any school, any restaurant, any bus, and have a seat comfortably next to someone who has different color skin than you. With King’s national holiday approaching, please remember the dream. It’s left in our hands to make the dream a reality. “And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’ ”
Watch MLKing’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.