Updated: Jun 17, 2021
We begin our year of profiles with the inspiring orator and civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr was a civil rights activist in the 1950s and 1960s. He led non-violent protests to fight for the rights of all people, including African Americans.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”
Between 1957 and 1968, King travelled over six million miles and spoke over 2,500 times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action. He led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience.
“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service... You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”
He directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, ‘l Have a Dream.’
“I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others… And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity…all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.”
At the age of thirty-five, he was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize and donated the prize money to the civil rights movement.
Each month we mark the significant life of a person of colour as a positive statement and a contribution to redressing historical imbalances in our society.
illustration by Kate Dean