By Lupita Peimbert
(Culture) – American hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, is a respected historical figure for Americans who were not born or raised in the United States but now call it home, thus most likely had not heard about him before becoming part of what is often referred to as “New Americans.”
Who would not respect his commitment to nonviolence nor resist his charisma? Many would agree that the more we learn about his battles and victories, our respect for his legacy grows into admiration and love for who he was and what he did.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
This is perhaps the most known phrase from MLK, given at a 250,000 people march in Washington D.C. and one who moved the masses into action. Aside from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream,” what else do you, dear reader, know about him?
Here are 9 facts about MLK:
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) was a pastor whose courage, charisma, and leadership led the civil rights movement in the 60s, for racial equality in the United States.
- MLK was born on January 15, 1929
- MLK was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
- MLK won the Nobel prize at age 35.
- MLK’s “I Have Dream” speech, is considered one of the most powerful speeches of the 20th Century.
- During his lifetime, he wrote 5 books and was incarcerated more than 20 times.
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
- MLK was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine in 1963.
- In 1965 MLK preached at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
- Since 1983 the United States honors MLK Day every third Monday in January.
Hopefully, by learning about MLK we learn to understand that the African American community as a whole has been prey to injustice in the past; and many would argue that injustice continues in the present, despite some gains in politics, economic justice, and education.