Martin Luther King Day

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This postcard of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, USA was sent to Geography Cat by his good friend Regina. Thank you.

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The Ebenezer Baptist Church (Photograph by Phil Skinner, 2018)

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on 15th January, 1929 in an upstairs bedroom of 501, Auburn Avenue, a few blocks away from the Ebenezer Church. He would have been 90 this year (2019).  Dr. King returned to the church in 1960 to co-pastor with his father.

At this time Dr. King had already been elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was an organization formed to provide new leadership for the civil rights movement.  Dr. King traveled over 6 million miles, and spoke at well over 2500 events, fighting injustice and coordinating protests and actions that galvanised what he called “a coalition of conscience.”

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March on Washington, 1963 (Image: USA National Archives)

The 1963 March on Washington, DC. culminated with Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech, delivered to an audience of at least a quarter of a million people. Many millions more have seen it since. 1963 marked 100 years since Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

“This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

“But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.”

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King 1963

That year the Reverend Dr. was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine. Between 1957 and 1968 he has been arrested over 20 times, physically assaulted at least four times and awarded five honorary degrees. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the youngest person to have won it, he was 35 years old.

Dr. King was assassinated in April 1968. His murder robbed the whole world for generations. Martin Luther King Day celebrates Dr. King’s life and accomplishments, and it is a day to consider how far there is yet to go.

The Ebenezer Baptist Church remains a strong community and you can find out more about them here.

3 Replies to “Martin Luther King Day”

  1. Thank you. Dr Martin Luther King should continue to be remembered. His life remains shining in the darkness and needed just as much today.
    Personally I remember these events on the TV made an immense impression on me

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