“I have a dream that my four little 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.” — Dr. King, full speech text here.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, led the American Civil Rights Movement for less than thirteen years, but in that short time he accomplished more to advance the cause of racial equality than any other person in US history. Working and traveling tirelessly, he set the example for Americans of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience on the model of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King’s own Christian beliefs. Through his work, he exposed the brutality of segregation and racism in America and changed attitudes as well as laws across the nation. His life was ended prematurely, but his work carries on.
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA, 5th Dist.), respected hero of the Civil Rights Movement who marched and organized alongside Dr. King and suffered repeated violence from segregationist authorities, including nearly losing his life on Blood Sunday at the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 (USA Today, 5/5/2015). Congressman Lewis has devoted his adult life to public service. He has been a member of Congress since 1987, and he continues to lead on civil rights and in defense of the Constitution.
Congressman Lewis speaks his mind and the truth as he sees it, which is his right, shared with all Americans, and he will not back down in the face of petty racist backlash. LA Times, 1/14/17.
On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, let’s be inspired by the sacrifice and continued courage of these great leaders. The struggle for equal rights and the rule of law never ends until the side of justice gives up.
Never give up.