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16 - Martin Luther King


Martin Luther King, Jr

(1929 - 1968)


Martin Luther King, a Baptist pastor, led a long, successful bus boycott in 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama protesting at seats for whites only. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed such segregation was illegal.

"We will not obey unjust laws or submit to unjust practices."

He was a civil rights leader with Christian ideals who called Gandhi's nonviolent resistance.

"The only morally and practically sound method open to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom."

Despite assaults and arrests he spoke out against injustice. His "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (1963), addressed to religious leaders, was a manifesto of black nonviolent revolution. That year he told a march of 250,000 people on Washington, D.C., "I have a Dream".

"I have a dream my... children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!"

Reproduced by kind permission of the FLIP SCHULKE ARCHIVES.


On 4 April 1968, he was assassinated just before leading a protest march in Memphis.

"Violence is

  • impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all;
  • immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love."
Note: Martin Luther King remains the youngest prize winner, aged 35.
Created by toussa01
Last modified 2005-01-14 04:08 PM

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