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Martin Luther King : He Had A Dream

Martin Luther King : He Had A Dream

Martin Luther King : He Had A Dream

By on - 3 comments

Tribute to MLK, shot 40 years ago today. A man whose courage, dedication, and nonviolent advocacy for civil rights continue to inspire people around the world.

Sampler

40 years ago today, the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The news of his death shocked the world and lead to a wave of race riots across the United States. It was a violent end to over 13 years of tireless peaceful campaigning for civil rights in America which had succeeded in destroying legal racial segregation and political discrimination, and taken the biggest steps toward equality between black and white Americans since the emancipation of the slaves in 1861-5.

Born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of a minister, King played an active role in his church from a young age. Having studied sociology, divinity and philosophy (attaining a phd at Boston University) he became a pastor of Dexter avenue baptist church, Mongomery Alabama in 1953.

At the end of 1955 King lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott – sparked when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in compliance with the “Jim Crow” segregation laws rife across the South – which lasted over a year until a court ruling put an end to the law in question. During this time King’s house was bombed. Three years later he would be stabbed in the chest but survive.

King was greatly influenced by the thoughts and protest model of Mahatma Gandhi, and realised that non violent civil disobedience would not only be an effective means of disrupting the mechanisms of the racist institutions he sought to change but also would attract enough worldwide attention to create sympathy for his cause. These non violent activities would go on throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which gave black Americans the same political and civil rights as white Americans and officially ended overt state sponsored discrimination.

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King giving his "I have a dream" speech in Washington on August 28, 1963 (AFP)

After his assassination, President Lyndon Johnson declared a day of mourning which would become a public holiday, and 300,000 people attended his funeral. King’s grave is marked with the lines “free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last” taken from his famous “I have a dream ” speech given in his unmistakable rolling tones to over 200,000 people during the March On Washington in 1963. Dr King is considered by many to be one of the greatest orators in modern history.

King was an avowed integrationist – in that he believed black people should join with American society rather than rejecting it – which would bring him into conflict with the next generation of civil rights leaders such as Stokely Carmichael and the young Malcolm X. Later Malcolm X would move closer to King’s position after his break with the Nation Of Islam, shortly before his own untimely death.

Although the bulk of political reggae music was more influenced by Malcolm X and the militancy of the Black Power movement of the late 60s and 70s, King’s vision of a united world is reflected in many reggae lyrics especially those of Bob Marley, while the singer Ken Boothe has been known to speak at length about the importance of his ideas while on stage. In 1978 Max Romeo also dedicated a song to Dr King, bearing his name :

"Everyone speaks of Marcus Garvey / No one remember Martin Luther King / They talk about Jose Marti / No one remember Martin Luther King / All over the world he travel spreading the word of Freedom / Taking other abuses working for Jah Jah Kingdom/ They talk about Captain Morgan/ No one remember Martin Luther King."

40 years on from his death, Martin Luther King remains one of the worlds most respected and cherished figures and we ask you to remember him this day.

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Read comments (3)


Posted by RasmartyrGJ85 on 12.23.2010
I like this song Max Romeo - Tribute to Martin Luther King, great civil rights advocate for equality of men. Peace and unity - RasmartyrGJ85

Posted by oscar on 03.02.2011
Viva Martin Luther King jr !!!!!!!!!

Posted by luis on 03.17.2011
Yeah Luther Ling es un gran defensor.

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