Remembering Martin Luther King - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Remembering Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King civil rights march in DC (Wikimedia Commons)

Today we commemorate the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was born on January 15, 1929 and was tragically murdered on April 4, 1968.

King spent his adult life pushing for civil rights for African Americans and the rights of all poor people of all races and religions. He was just 26 years old when, in 1955, he took part in and helped lead the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. he then helped lead the Selma to Montgomery March, demanding equal rights in Alabama. The beating the marchers took from local authorities woke up America to the brutality of segregation.

Martin Luther King, Jr with President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 when Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Wikipedia)

King had been at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement for eight years, having helped found the Souther Christian Leadership Conference, when he gave his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March On Washington, that brought over 300,000 people to the nation’s capitol to demand equality throughout all 50 states.

In 1968 he began the Poor People’s Campaign with a planned march on Washington, D.C. to demand economic justice for the poor, working or not. Sadly, he was gunned down before the march could take place. The Rev. Ralph Abernathy took King’s place as the leader of the movement.

For over 50 years Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been a symbol of peace, equality, justice and nonviolent disobedience as a means of changing policy. As a result, he is one of the most quoted people in history. There are many appropriate thoughts from Dr. King we could share, but this one seems to sum it all up in the simplest of terms: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ”

There are many celebrations honoring Dr. King around the Baltimore area, the largest being the 17th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade.

The parade steps off at noon at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Eutaw Street, proceeds south on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and disbands at Baltimore Street. Spectators are invited to view the parade from along the route or near the reviewing stand at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Franklin Street.

More than 70 groups will participate in the parade including high school and community bands, honor/color guards, equestrian units, fraternities & sororities, lively dance squads and civic organizations.

For more information on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade, call 410-752-8632.

Lede photo of Dr. King at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (Wikipedia)

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