By Mariam Bayo
Numerous revolutionaries who fought for Black people’s equality were incredibly inventive in changing the course of culture. Martin Luther King Jr. was an advocate for Black liberation and for the protection of Black life. Most notably, MLK Jr. served as a spokesperson for the Civil Rights Movement. Jim Crow laws were finally overturned thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ensuring equal access to eateries, transportation, and other public amenities for African Americans. It made it possible for Black people, women, and other minorities to break through barriers in the workplace. The Civil Rights Movement achieved three important goals: all students, regardless of race, could attend the same schools; segregation in the workplace or in public places was prohibited; and the unfair conditions for voter registration were abolished. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act were both made possible thanks in part to MLK. Each of these laws made it easier for African Americans to enjoy civil rights across the nation. We may still benefit from King’s principles and actions today thanks to his speeches and writings.
It’s also important to remember that we most likely wouldn’t be observing MLK Jr. Day without Coretta Scott King’s cooperation and backing.
In order to uphold her husband’s legacy, Mrs. Coretta Scott King founded The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. in 1968. It planned a march on Washington that drew some 500,000 people, according to estimates. Wonder and Coretta Scott King handed House Speaker Tip O’Neill a petition with 6 million signatures. In 1983, the House debated the measure and approved it by a majority of 53 votes.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his use of peaceful resistance to win equal rights for Black Americans. King is renowned for his abilities as a public speaker, perhaps best demonstrated in his “I Have a Dream” speech. King played a crucial role in the liberation of Black people and the expansion of Black people’s access to human rights. He declared, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere… We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” King demonstrated what it meant to be a leader and educated other Black people how to speak up for themselves.