Have we reached the Mountaintop? Martin Luther King and his Legacy

April 4th marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr.

With the rise of black activist groups and the ‘alt-right’ some have questioned whether we have reached the Promised Land.

From the organisation of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 to his famous “I have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington in ’63, King was the figure head of the Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1960s.

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, King was inspired by Ghandi in his advocating of non-violent civil disobedience.

Even in the face of police brutality and frequent death threats King maintained his Christian beliefs of peaceful protest and civil noncompliance and refused to take a more combative approach advocated by his Civil Rights counterpart Malcom X.

In the 13 short years that Martin Luther King was active in the movement he grew from a simple Christian Pastor to the leader of the greatest human rights movement of the 20th Century.

Rarely has someone characterised an undertaking as clearly and symbolically as King. In his own words ‘few men have so swiftly shaped the course of events; few have so deeply stirred multitudes.’

Although his legacy remains, in the end a single bullet achieved what bombings, stabbings and police brutality could not. It silenced the King, but the echo of his voice lingers on.

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