Marriotts Ridge Remembers the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

On January 16th every year, the nation commemorates the inspirational Martin Luther King Jr (MLK) and his many accomplishments. King’s actions changed the course of history and the lives of many people. He made great progress in the fight for equal rights for African Americans. While most people have heard King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, many are unaware of his earlier accomplishments that were also beneficial in his important fight for equality.
One of the first important things King took part in for this fight for equality was the Alabama Montgomery bus boycott. This event took place following fellow activist Rosa Parks’s arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. King was put in charge to lead this nonviolent boycott due to his leadership experience as a pastor and membership to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). King led this boycott for 382 days until it ended on December 21, 1956 when the Supreme Court finally declared the laws of segregation on buses unconstitutional.
After this crucial boycott, King became a figurehead for African Americans and then became the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where he continued to direct the Civil Rights Movement.
For eleven years, King traveled and spoke where there were protests, injustice and violence. Whether it was writing his many books or being interviewed for an article, he always provided the public with ways to get information on the cause. King also initiated an enormous protest in 1963 at Birmingham, Alabama that captured the attention of the world.
King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech after leading a peaceful protest in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. This speech was so monumental because it listed the flaws of America. His words described what needed to be fixed to withhold the founding values of America being freedom, justice, and equality. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech influenced the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited discrimination based upon race, religion, and national origin, which was a great step at accomplishing MLK’s goals for equality.
King was dedicated to his activism until the very end of his life. On the evening he was assassinated, he was in Memphis, Tennessee to lead a protest march with striking garbage pickers the next day. Martin Luther King Jr, even on his last day, was focused on the cause and continuing to make his dream of equality come to life. He was a dedicated, passionate,strong leader who would not give up until his goals of equality were accomplished.
Even many years after his passing, Martin Luther King Jr. remains an important historical leader. Society celebrates his accomplishments and upholds his legacy through parades, marches and even speeches given by politicians and fellow civil rights leaders. The same Southern Christian Leadership Conference whereKing led continues to cultivate young leaders today.
Locally, there was the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute and celebration in Bethesda, Maryland, and at Richard Montgomery High School. Within all of these events there were performances, interactive booths, and keynote speakers. These events are held every year to celebrate King’s greatness.
Because ofKing’s life and accomplishments, his positive impact on society remains today. His tirelessness in the fight for equality gives him the long lasting legacy as the leader of the Civil Rights Act.