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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid