-Martin Luther King-
Martin Luther King, the great civil rights leader, spoke these words from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, USA in August, 1963, to a crowd of over 250 thousand people who were demanding equal rights for all American citizens. Last Thursday marked the 45th anniversary of Luther's famous "I have a dream" speech.
Throughout the 1960's, people's attitudes towards race changed dramatically. Changes involved the passage of ideas into laws as the overall attitude of the people towards time honoured segregation practices were challenged.. The 60s saw the peaking of the American Civil Rights Movement and witnessed masses of widespread protests across the nation.
This explosion of protest reverberated through the American cultural landscape and issued a challenge to the citizens, lawmakers, and politicians of the day. At the head of this movement was one Martin Luther King, the primary voice, crying in the wasteland of inequality and segregation.
In March 1955, a fifteen-year-old school girl, Claudette Colvin, refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, in compliance with the laws of the time. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, planned by Edgar Nixon and led by Martin Luther King, soon followed. The boycott lasted for 385 days, and the situation became so tense that King's house was bombed. Following his later arrest during this campaign, pressure increased across the country and on June 4, 1956, the federal district court ruled that Alabama's racial segregation laws for buses were unconstitutional. This was the first breakthrough for the civil rights movement, and forshadowed that which was to come.
After King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech during the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, the FBI described King as "the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country." This was typical of the attitude of...