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In Memory of Martin Luther King Jr.

   

On this day of 2019, we celebrate Martin Luther King Junior day. To many, it is much more than that. Through the middle ages of the 1900s, the levels of racism were tremendous and such a thing as equal rights were absurd. Some of the people had a dream to pass a law that allowed African-Americans have the same rights as the whites. Which moved many people like Martin Luther to take action! Not just Martin Luther contributed, so many others took major parts behind and in front of the scenes throughout this movement. Many African-Americans stood up for themselves throughout this period of time and the reasoning for that is simple: they just wanted to be equal.

     Beginning in 1954 and ending a little more than ten years later the civil rights movement was thrown into action. Even though the Civil War abolished slavery there was still an extremely large amount of hatred towards the blacks. In 1868 the 14th Amendment allowed blacks to have equal protection in America. Then in 1870, the 15th Amendment was created to allow blacks to vote. Slowly the blacks were making an uprise and becoming equal with everyone. Many whites did not like the looks of this, especially in the South. To marginalize African-Americans laws were established in the South. The requirements of these laws included; blacks could not attend the same facilities as whites, live in the same towns or even go to the same school. To make matters worse, there was also a law that passed in some states where blacks no longer had the privilege to vote. The blacks were furious, they finally had the opportunity and people were taking it right out from underneath their feet.
     Everyone knew that the rule on the buses was that whites sat up front while blacks were in the very back. The final draw for the blacks was when Rosa Parks found a seat in the back of a bus in Montgomery Alabama one day after work. A white man got on and there were no seats left up front so the bus driver instructed him to sit in the back. The driver told Rosa and 3 other blacks to move, Rosa refused and was arrested. As word of her arrest spread the blacks fury and support grew larger! Rosa’s courage to stand up started the movement of the boycott Montgomery bus system. The system lasted for 381 days and eventually, the Supreme Court ruled segregated seating as unconstitutional. Soon after that African-American leaders formed the Montgomery Improvement Association, also known as the MIA. This congregation of blacks and whites was led by Baptist Martin Luther King Junior. A role which would place him front and center in the fight for civil rights.
     So much was going on throughout the act, at some points, the blacks would gain momentum, then the whites would take it right back, it was a never-ending battle. Then on August 28th, 1963, the March on Washington took place. More than 200,000 blacks and whites were present for the peaceful march with the main purpose of forcing civil rights legislation and to have job equality. The highlight of the march was Martin Luther’s I have a dream speech. Martin Luther’s famous line: I have a dream easily became the slogan for equality in rights. Soon after the march, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Legislation initiated by John F. Kennedy before his assassination into law on July 2 of that present year. Martin Luther and many other civil rights activists witnessed the signing of the law that would finally give them equal employment, limited the use of voter literacy tests and allowed federal authorities to ensure public facilities were integrated.
     Although a sudden tragedy occurred. On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on his hotel room balcony. Everyone in the movement was infuriated! Martin Luther was such an important factor in the act! He was a leader, an encourager, a friend, a husband, a dad. He was so much more than just a leader for the civil rights act. Which explains why emotionally-charged riots followed putting more and more pressure on the government to agree to their simple requirements of just being treated equally. Finally on April 11, 1968, just 7 days after Martin Luther’s assassination the Fair Housing Act became law. It prevented housing discrimination based on race, national origin, female or male and religion. Even though he may not have been alive to witness all of his hard work pay off, he affected so many lives and still does to this day. Most of all, his dream came true.

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