Dr. King's degrees and awards are not what we know him for,
or why we get a day off of work and school to celebrate his
birthday. It’s the tremendous role he played in the U.S.
Civil Rights movement.
King was president of the Montgomery Improvement Association,
and headed up the famous Montgomery bus boycott started by
Rosa Parks in 1955. The boycott ran for 381 days, and as we
know today, was a success. King was arrested 30 times by police
for his involvement in civil right actions.
Dr. King had a passion and a drive to make real his dreams
of a new life in the United States, dreams of equality, dreams
that all men are created equal and should be treated equal.
His ideas gave millions of African Americans and low-income
men and women a new sense of pride and self-worth.
Despite all Dr. King’s messages and hopes, he was destroyed
by the power of hate. He was killed by James Earl Ray in Memphis,
Tenn. on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in 1968, at the
age of 39.
King left behind his wife of almost 15 years and four children
all, aged 13, 11, 7, and 5. Today we celebrate the life of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. every third Monday in January and
again in the month of February, along with many other significant
African Americans during Black History Month.
In King’s letter from Birmingham jail on April 16, 1963,
he said, “In the end, we will remember, not the words
of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. We will have
to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words
and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence
of the good people.” (http://www.coastalpost.com/04/02/28.htm)
For more information on Dr. King, visit liblsu.edu, or seattletimes.nwsource.com/mlk/king.