The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. voice was the most prominent voice in the US Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He was a strong and influential advocate of nonviolent protests in the fight for equal rights for black Americans. For his leadership and determination, the Baptist minister earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

Dr. King was very intentional in the way he lead. He put his life on the line for freedom and justice every day yearning civil rights reform. King took action in the boycott of the Montgomery city buses, Memphis Sanitation Worker Strike, and many well-known civil rights movements during his time.

One of the main things King stood for, aside from the fight for racial equality, was the idea of nonviolence. Despite being arrested 29 times, he never fought back with violence or showcased violent actions in any of his protests. His “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is among the most powerful messages of social justice ever delivered from behind bars.

When he was assassinated on April 4, 1986, King was in Memphis to support African American sanitation workers, who were striking to protest unequal wages and working conditions. King urged black Americans to continue their commitment to nonviolence, but also warned that “justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society.”

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

While King overcame many barriers in the fight for equality, the push for civil rights remains a relevant challenge today. We continue to face poverty in the inner cities, discrimination in the workplace, and police brutality. We continue to fight for social justice. We continue to demand justice and fair treatment for the black community.

It’s crucial that upon reflecting Dr. King’s legacy and the progress, he has made that we keep in mind how far we have to go and the steps we need to take to build upon his legacy.