Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929 and died April 4, 1968 at the age of 39 years. He was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American Civil Rights Movement. He is remembered today for his role in the advancement of civil rights,using nonviolent civil disobedience. He is known as a national icon in the history of American progressivism.
His education consisted of Morehouse College, B.A.; Crozer Theological Seminary, B.D.; Boston University University, PhD.
It was his march on Washington where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. This was the beginning of his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American History.
He also established his reputation as a radical and immediately became an object of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's COINTELPRO for the rest of his life. This was during the President John Kennedy Administration. Robert Kennedy gave his consent for wiretapping on King's telephone and other survillance. The FBI was across the street at the Fire Dept. when he was assisinated, in Memphis, TN at his motel, where he always stayed in Memphis. It is hard to imagine how it all occurred.
King critiqued both parties' performance on promoting racial equality, he said, "The Negro has been betrayed by both the Republican and the Democratic Party. The Democrates betrayed them by capitulating to the whims and caprices of the Southern Dixecrats. The Republicans have betrayed them by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of reactionary right wing northern Republicans. He never came out and endorsed either party.
Hoover, FBI, Director acccused him of having communist in his civil rights movement. There was never any truth in his documentation of the infiltration of communist. However, he caused King a lot of agonizing years in his life.
You can learn more about Dr. King in the Wikipdia encyclopedia: The bio is 54 pages.
Exerts of his speech on August 28, 1963 in Washington during the 100,000 man march.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history or our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slavaes who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still langushing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissoty note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check - a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation or the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I Have a Dream - contd.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four 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.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing, Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
You can read the full text of Dr. King's speech at: by ABC News
go to: http://www. abcnews.go.com
Jan. 16- Wednesday - I Have a Dream Day, learn about Martin Luther King, Jr. listen to stories and make crafts for all ages. For more information (815) 965 - 7606. or: http://www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org at 5:00 pm. Montague Branch Library - 1238 S. Winnebago St.
Jan. 18 - Friday - Diversity Clergy Luncheon, noon Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 412 N. Church St. Rockford, IL
Jan. 19 - Saturday - Alpha Phi Alpha IX Annual Scholarship Breakfast: 9:00 am - Rockford College Burpee Center; 5050 E. State Street, Rockford, $20.00 in advance $25.00 at the door; for reservations: (779) 203 - 4154.
Jan. 20 - Sunday - Faith Program 6:30 pm, St. Paul Church of God in Christ, 1001 Bishop Washington Avenue, Rockford.
Jan. 21 - Monday - Youth/Young Adult Extravaganza 11 am to 2 pm, Washington Park Community Center, 3417 Delware St., Rockford, IL
All events are free unless otherwise specified. for information call (815) 964 - 9913 GO section