Martin Luther King

American public figure, leader of the Civil Rights Movement, known for his speech I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King was a pastor in a church in Montgomery, who became very popular and famous because of his acts towards the end of racial segregation. He had a great charisma and so, people listened and supported him.

He believed in pacifist gestures and acts, following Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology, and that was his strategy to “fight” for black people’s rights. As an example, he was the head of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 that he started when a black woman called Rosa Parks was asked to give up her seat in a bus to a white man, just because the driver gave him preference over her. The Montgomery Bus Boycott started the day of Rosa Park’s trial, as she had been sent to prison. This boycott lasted for over a year and, at the end, what they achieved was not to be segregated in Montgomery’s public transports, as it was considered unconstitutional.

His most famous speech was “I have a dream” in 1964 and took place at Abraham Lincoln’s statue, while on a march Martin had organised to protest. With this speech he won a Nobel Prize.

In 1963 he participated in a campaign in Birmingham, which led him to being sent to prison. It was there where he wrote a letter that now known as “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, in which he explained who he was and the reasons why he did what he did. It was John F. Kennedy, a presidential candidate, who took him out of jail.

In 1965, Martin organised another march, this time a very long one, from Selma to Montgomery. It was started in Selma because there had been racial violent acts against black people. This was who Martin Luther King was, a peaceful man whose only desire was to make America great again for everyone.

Even though his acts and words were powerful and made a huge change in the life of black people in the U.S., his life and John F. Kennedy’s one, were ended by white racist men.


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