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King, Martin Luther

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Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C…08/28/1963

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68) was an African American Baptist minister and Ph.D. born in Atlanta, Georgia.

King advocated civil rights and won the Kennedy Peace Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. In the southern states he spoke out against the legal segregation of blacks and whites in public places.

Perhaps his most famous words, caught live on film during one of his many public addresses, were delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C in 1963:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.¹

King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray, who was arrested in London, tried in Memphis and sent to prison with a 99-year sentence in 1969.

¹ Martin Luther King, Jr: The Peaceful Warrior, New York: Pocket Books, 1968.

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