January 21 marks one of America’s many national holidays. This holiday commemorates a man who has become a symbol of justice, peace, and equality. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most famous civil rights activist during the 1950s and the 1960s. He is most commonly known for his “I Have a Dream” speech given on August 28, 1963, where he called for equality for all races and an end to blatant discrimination towards African Americans and minorities. Martin Luther King accomplished many things in his lifetime. He was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. During this time, segregation laws were enforced in many parts of the United States, especially in the south. He attended segregated schools and graduated from high school at the age of fifteen. After studying three years of theology at Crozer Theological Seminary at Pennsylvania, he attended Boston University where he met his wife Coretta Scott. In 1954, King was the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptists Church in Montgomery, Alabama as well as a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 1955, he participated and led in the first nonviolent equality movement of the United States, the bus boycott. After 382 days, the Supreme Court of the United States eliminated segregation on buses. This act started off King’s goal of creating equality in the United States. Throughout his journey of reaching this goal, he was arrested, assaulted, and mocked by many people. Despite this, he still stood up for what he believed in and never gave up hope. He received the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of thirty-five and a large sum of money which he donated to the civil rights movement. Unfortunately, on April 4, 1968, he was shot in Memphis, Tennessee. His legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere. He will always be remembered as a symbol of freedom, justice, and equality.
BY: Tamera Moinuddin