by Shiloh Hines, John Wesley Scholar, Class of 2017
There are a myriad of influential figures that one might meet during his or her time in the JWHC, and, in light of the recent holiday, it is fitting that this article gives credit to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
He lived in an era of injustice, but believed in a world of equality, which became one of the driving forces in his life. It is important to remember the life that this man lived—and his vision for humanity.
King’s vision was inspired by the Christian ideals that he firmly believed in as well as the teachings of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi. King used Gandhi’s non-violent methods of protest to organize and lead in multiple movements, the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington being two of them.
The March on Washington is one of the most notable events of the Civil Rights movement where two-hundred to three-hundred thousand people marched on Washington to protest the unfair treatment of African-Americans. The protests culminated with Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous, “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he addresses the injustices of his people and gives his vision of a better America.
He gave this speech from beneath the Lincoln Memorial, in front of the statue of the man who, a hundred years earlier, had signed the Emancipation Proclamation and ended slavery.
This event was widely seen as one of the major turning points of the civil rights movement, and one of the factors in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Martin Luther King Jr. achieved many things in his life. He saw the passing of the Civil Rights Act, and even received a Nobel Peace Prize—but an assassination ended his life suddenly in 1968.
Though King has passed on, his mission has not: to love others.
It is a call to stand up for those who cannot do so themselves
It is a call to show the love of Christ.
King exemplified this mission through his life, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day serves as a reminder to all of us that his dream lives on.
Check out the full “I Have a Dream Speech” below: