A Day of Remembrance

On this day, Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most influential personalities in civil rights history, was born. King fought for injustice in America. He brought the heinous treatment of the people of color.  His work improved the lives of people today.

 America has a dark history of slavery. Following the end of the American Civil War in 1865, slavery was abolished, however the treatment of people of color within society remained hostile. While they lived in the same country and worked the same jobs as white Americans, they were separated in almost every aspect – including some day-to-day activities like going to the bathroom. Segregation made one message clear: People of Color were not the same as white Americans, and this was an ideology that was widely accepted and enforced. Certain rights were denied to blacks such as voting. Corrupt police tended to side against colored people. One of the most notable events of discrimination was when Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus. 

Martin Luther King Jr. did not stand for injustice, and he dedicated his life to bringing freedom, equality, peace and justice to the colored people in America. King was born in Atlanta and grew up in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood, a predominantly African American neighborhood. While in college he studied medicine and law. After Rosa Parks was arrested, King led the protests to abolish unfair laws in the Montgomery Bus Boycotts.

As the protests grew, so did the fight for the equality of colored people. King organized marches, gave speeches and shared his famous dream. Possibly his most notable speech was “I Have a Dream”. In this speech he argued for fair wages, voting rights, better education, and the overall end of segregation, during the March on Washington on August 24th, 1963. His fight for equality continued for many years and included the events in Selma, Alabama when in 1965, colored demonstrators got into an altercation with white segregationists. On April 4th, 1968, King was assassinated in his motel room in Memphis. The country mourned his death and many were deeply saddened, including then President Lyndon B. Johnson. Although he was dead, his dream continues to live on. A dream of rising up for love, unity and justice. 

Today, we celebrate his day to respect the work he’d done. He was a pivotal part of the civil rights movement, and our society wouldn’t be like this if it weren’t for his strides. Not only did he help black citizens, but Hispanic and Asian citizens as well. While we continue on the fight for equality in our country, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helped to bring people together across the nation.