On a day when a news anchor from one of the major television shows postulates that the sitting present thinks American history began with his own January 20, 2017, inauguration, many think that this is a time for perspective. And while the elected leaders are, indeed, are a part of American history, much of the history of our country is just as significantly impacted by the efforts of leaders who are not elected. In the Civil Rights world, for instance, few will deny the historical importance of Martin Luther King Jr.
The life of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr is so important that hundreds have spent their professional lives creating documentary films, as well as docudramas, books, and professional audio recordings of King’s most famous moments and speeches. And while many of these films, books, and recordings about King are hopeful, current civil Rights advocates are quick to remind the public that, in spite of the efforts of King and others, we still live in a nation where statistics from 2015 verify that black families are on average 13 times poorer than white families.
As current movements like Black Lives Matter attest to, the efforts of the MLK are both a reminder and an impetus for the progress that this nation still needs to make.
Are you familiar with the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr, a non-elected, but significant, leader in America’s history:
- Martin Luther King Jr. made his first national address six years before the most famous “I Have a Dream” speech to a crowd of 15,000 to 30,000.
- During the year 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. led 2,000 people on a 54 mile march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, on a five day march.
- King’s famous Letter from Birmingham Jail was 7,000 words in length.
- Martin Luther King Jr, on his way toward delivering as many as 450 speeches a year, spoke at over 2500 public events in his life.
- Martin Luther King Jr. went to jail 29 times.
- First commemorated in 1986, Martin Luther King Jr day is celebrated on the third Monday of January.