50 years of Martin Luther King’s dream

Martin Luther King is a symbol of the fight for racial equality in the United States. (Harry Benson)

Message for peace and tolerance by the black activist is more needed than ever.

April 4 marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death, defender of blacks’ civil rights. His is still remembered today as a symbol of the fight for racial equality in the United States.

Martin Luther King was murdered on April 4, 1968 by a white racist at a time racial segregation was at its peak: whites and blacks were treated differently simply because of the color of their skin.

At that time, the Afro-American population had fewer rights than the white: they could not vote, sit next to white people in buses and restaurants, they went to separate schools, they charged less than white workers and never held management positions, for example.

This type of policy came from the era of slavery. In the United States, having slaves was legal until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln approved its abolition.

However, discrimination and racial prejudice still remained for decades. Even today, race conflicts are a problem in the United States.

From Atlanta to the capital

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929 in Atlanta, capital of Georgia, a state in the south of the United States. At that time, racial segregation was especially noticeable in the southern states, where blacks were victims of constant racist attacks.

When he was 6, his White friends stopped speaking to him; because he was black, they were not allowed top lay with him. Which is why, from a very early age, he got involved in the defence of black civil rights.

He organized and participated in tens of demonstrations, boicos to raise awareness on the inequality that the USA was living. His charm and the strength of his ideas made him a famous person all around the country.

One of his most famous speech is ‘I have a dream’ which he gave in front of more than 250.000 people who had gathered together in Washington, the capital of USA, to participate in the March for Jobs and freedom and stand for black civil rights.

A lifetime fighting

Martin Luther King was the son of a pastor and he himself was ordained Reverend. As he saw things, violence was not the way to achieve change and that is why he always defended non-violent actions.

Thanks to these actions, great things were achieved like the Civil Rights law (1964) which put an end to racial segregation in public places or the Right to vote (1965) which gave black people the right to vote.

The Martin Luther King monument in Washington which reminds us all of the defender of Afro-American’s rights. (Getty Images)

As an activist, Luther King not only defended the afro-american comunity’s rights, but was also against the Vietnam war (1954-1975) and claimed more means to be given by the US government help the poor.

In 1964 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight to end with inequality and racial discrimination.

Unfortunately, not everyone thought like him and was attacked several times throughout his life. Martin Luther King was murdered in a hotel in Memphis, where he has gone to support the strike by black garbage workers who demanded better working conditions.

In the United States there is a day in memory of their figure: every year, on the third Monday in January, the Martin Luther King Day is celebrated.

A tribute to a great man whose struggle still continues to inspire many people today around the world.

Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report

 

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