Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to a father who was a minister and civil rights activist. This paternal influence shaped Dr. King’s life choices from a young age and he gained notoriety throughout his life as both a Baptist minister and a pivotal leader of the Civil Rights movement in America and across the world.
Even though Dr. King was born 66 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, African Americans still struggled to gain equality in America. Many states enacted Jim Crow laws, and other pieces of oppressive policy, with the expressed goal of keeping African Americans from reaching equal footing with whites in America.
Dr. King’s legacy, actions and contributions cannot possibly be summarized in this post, but here are some of the notable historic Civil Rights events that are associated with Dr. King’s legacy.
The organization of a massive boycott of segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama, cemented Dr. King’s prominence as a leader of the U.S. Civil Rights movement in the late 1950s. Later, Dr. King would go on to organize marches across the Southern United State protesting rampant segregation and discrimination throughout the region. All of these events led up to his pivotal march on Washington D.C. in 1963. It was at this march, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King became immortalized and proclaimed, “I HAVE A DREAM”.
In the early 1960’s, sentiment was starting to shift across America. Momentum began to gather for the Civil Rights movement. But, a movement so vast could only find success with strong leadership. Dr. King possessed the charisma and strength to step into such an important role. Through his words and nonviolent actions, alongside other Civil Rights leaders such as; John Lewis, James Farmer, Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, and so many others; systemic racism in the United States started to be acknowledged as a rampant issue across state and political lines.
Over the next few years, Dr. King’s efforts led to tangible gains and in 1964, Dr. King stood over the shoulder of President Lyndon Johnson, when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into U.S. law.
Even with the success of this landmark legislation, Dr. King understood the fight wasn’t over and he continued to lead demonstrations for housing and voting rights across America. However, not all progress was met willingly. On April 4th,1968, while in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. King was assassinated while supporting Union Workers on strike.
For his life’s work, Dr. King was awarded the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize; as well as, a posthumous Presidential Medal of Honor, in 1977.
Even though gains have been made in the fight against racism in America, the cause for which Dr. King gave his life, there is still work to be done. America has taken steps toward dismantling systemic racism, but America still has a long way to go until we can say that his dream is our reality. It is in the continued fight towards this dream that Dr. King is truly honored.
As a passionate proponent of nonviolent civil disobedience, words became Dr. King’s tool in fighting oppression, racism and segregation across the United States. Dr. King’s words had the unmatched ability to make imaginations soar and ignite passion for the Civil Rights movement across political and racial lines.
Below is a list of words that Words With Friends has curated in honor of MLK Day. We hope this is something that our audience can use to improve vocabulary; as well as a daily reminder of the power of words. Also, in honor of Dr. King and the official observance of MLK day, the Word of the Day in all Words With Friends games is Dream.
n. the whole series of past events connected with someone or something.
n. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
adj. significant purely in terms of what is being represented or implied.
n. a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.
v. fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement).
n. the quality of being fair and reasonable.
n. importance requiring swift action.
n. the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.
n. preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
adj. plain or obvious; clearly seen or understood.
n. the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
adj. having complete power; omnipotent.
adj. of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.
v. withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.
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