Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Black History Month, every school day The Cardinal will feature a prominent and historical Black American, living or dead, who has worked toward change, advancement, and/or world peace. Some of them are heroes, and some are unsung heroes, who deserve recognition, and have made a contribution to society.


Ema Morales, Staff Writer

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929, into a world of racism. Dr. King was a man who fought for his rights and tried changing the world with his actions. He not only fought for his rights, but for every man, woman, and child, of every person of color who was discriminated against.  He fought for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. One thing you need to know about Dr. King, was that  he didn’t believe in violence.

“We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself. We will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to persuade with our acts.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Even though he was given reasons to use violence, he always chose not to and believed that if words could not change things, actions could but they didn’t have to be acts of violence. Dr. King is known for his “ I Have a Dream” speech that he gave on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

“I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. 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 their character.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped organize two of the three Selma to Montgomery marches.

Dr. King hoped for a better future for his children and the children of others. He was hoping for the future, and everyone in it, for a world without discrimination because of the color of their skin. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2003. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in cities and states throughout the United States beginning in 1971; the federal holiday was first observed in 1986, through legislation signed by President Ronald Reagan. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and King County in Washington State was rededicated for him. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.