King: A Man Of Peace In A Time Of War

For a man of peace, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. saw more than his share of war. He lived at a time where there was an ongoing bitter confrontation between Blacks and Whites. In fact, there was even some conflict within the Civil Rights Movement itself. Malcolm X described King as a ‘modern Uncle Tom’ who was teaching Blacks defenselessness in the face of attack. To add to the national tension, there was also an increasingly unpopular war raging in Vietnam. Yet King held on to his beliefs that the goals of the Civil Rights Movement would be better achieved without violence.

With the abolishing of slavery in 1865, Black Americans began a long struggle towards equality. However, it wasn’t until after the end of WWII when President Truman desegregated the army, that the seeds of the Civil Rights Movement were planted. That executive order led to a series of events that spurred activists such as Dr. King into action.

Many born before the early 1960s remember that for many years in their hometowns the buses were clearly marked to differentiate black passengers from white passengers. There were no black bus drivers or sales people. Blacks did not have the right to vote and could not get a loan. They were all relegated to menial jobs within the textile industry. It was radical and rigid apartheid— a mere step above slavery. But then Rosa Parks came along and triggered 381 days of boycott to the bus system because she refused to obey the order to give up her seat to a White passenger. By her actions and the support of the citizens of Montgomery, Alabama, the buses were finally desegregated too.

Dr. King traveled all over the world and gained the respect of presidents and kings, but it was his famous I Have Dream speech that made the whole world stop to listen. The reactions on entire communities were impressive. He stirred people to action and that march is almost single-handedly responsible for the Civil Rights Act. Dr. King’s words struck the conscience of the Congress and this became the second giant step since the abolition of slavery.

Almost five decades years ago, Martin Luther King gave a candid TV interview in which he spoke openly about dissent. Today, more than ever before his words have become like gold nuggets. King stated that a person can be militant and yet non violent. In fact, he considered himself to be militant and he defined it as being persistent, demanding and insistent because freedom always demands sacrifice.

Was Dr. King’s speech about seeing the Promised Land a warning of his murder? Watch this now.

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