News / USA

US Honors Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

US Honors Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.i
X
August 26, 2013 1:52 AM
This month, the United States is honoring the legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty years ago ((August 28, 1963)) Reverend King led the famous March on Washington and gave the “I Have a Dream” speech, a masterpiece that galvanized the nation to support equal rights for African Americans. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has this profile of King and his fight for desegregation and against racism.
Meredith BuelChris Simkins
The nation’s attention began to focus on the civil rights movement in the mid-1950s when a young black preacher, Martin Luther King, Jr., led the successful drive to desegregate public buses in Montgomery, Ala. King organized non-violent protests against southern segregation, the struggle for black equality and voting rights. On January 20, 2014, Americans pay tribute to King’s efforts.
 
Televised footage of violence against civil rights demonstrators sparked a wave of sympathetic public opinion.
 
 “He taught us that our job was to redeem the soul of America from the triple evils of racism, war and poverty,” said Andrew Young, a civil rights activist who was a close friend of King.
 
By August 1963 the push for equality had grown significantly and 250,000 participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
 
“When we arrived at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial there were just hundreds and thousands of people,” said Rep. John Lewis who was at the March. “There were many young people, young men up in the trees, trying to get a better view of the crowd.
 
"He transformed those marble steps of the Lincoln Memorial into a modern day pulpit,” said Lewis.  “I remember him saying ‘I would dream today a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.’ "
 
“This was the single most important demonstration for black people and their white supporters who wanted a change in civil rights,” he said. “There’s never been anything like it before and I was so happy to have been a part of it.”
 
King’s speech launched what had been a mostly black southern movement into a nationwide civil rights campaign.
 
In 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act outlawing racial segregation in public places.  The following year, the Voting Rights Act banned practices that were used to keep blacks from participating in elections.
 
King’s final campaign came in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.  While supporting striking sanitation workers, he was assassinated at a local hotel.  King was 39 years old when he died. 
 
Civil rights activist and two-time presidential candidate Jesse Jackson was there when King died.
 
“And even in his death he became bigger,” said Jackson. “He was crucified in Memphis, but his resurrection has affected the whole world.”
 
King gave a speech the night before his death that foreshadowed his assassination.
 
 “And I have seen the Promised Land.  I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get there,” King said in a speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis.
 
Thirty five years after his death, some of King’s dreams were realized, including the election in 2008 of Barack Obama as the first African American president of the United States.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid