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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs