Today, America will commemorate the greatest citizen in the history of our country, the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929 in AtlantA, GA. He died on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN. Though he only lived 39 years, Dr. King was a drum major that conducted the greatest social reform in the 20th century. This reform is called the Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. King was the son of a pastor. He grew his understanding of Christianity by studying and graduating from Morehouse College, Crozer Divinity School, and Boston School of Theology. He served as the pastor of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL.
While pastoring Dexter Avenue, he was a primary spokesperson for the Montgomery Bus Boycott which began December 5, 1955. For more than one year, the black citizens of Montgomery, AL did not ride public transportation until the laws were changed. After the boycott, blacks could sit wherever they wanted on the bus.
Dr. King’s voice for social justice and racial equality in America grew stronger and louder over the next 13 years of his life. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in bridging the gap between blacks and whites in America. Dr. King went to jail, led marches for freedom and delivered hundreds of speeches about love, peace, respect, equality, harmony and justice.
Dr. King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech to thousands of Americans while he stood on the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial. Though he stood in the shadow of a giant statue, Dr. King was a giant in his own right. He had a giant belief that all people are created equal. He had a giant heart to love those that hated him. He had a giant vision to see a different America.
In his last speech, Dr. King mentioned being on the mountain top and seeing the other side. Tragically, Dr. King did not make it to the other side with us. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968. However, his dream of little black boys and black girls joining hands with little white boys and little white girls in the state of Alabama has been realized. Therefore, his dream did not die, it took root and blossomed in the hearts and minds of many Americans.
As we celebrate Martin Luther King, let us remember his dream. I am the dream. You are the dream. We are the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the greatest American.