Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. captured the movement's goal during his famous "How Long, Not Long" speech: "The end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1929 - 1968
Civil Rights Activist, Minister
For Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ordained at age eighteen, the pulpit of a church provided the foundation on which to build a movement for peace, freedom, and justice for all people. As one of the most important figures of the civil rights movement of the 1950's and the 1960's, King brought about the beginning of the end of institutionalized racial segregation with his nonviolent boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama, transit system and his work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His Speeches were known for the passion and eloquence that characterized his celebrated "I Have a Dream" speech, made at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in 1963.
King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964; he was assassinated in 1968. His birthday, January 15, is celebrated as an American national holiday, and today he is regarded as one of the most vital, courageous, and effective leaders in American History.
O God,...we thank Thee for Thy Church, founded upon Thy Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon Thee....Help us to realize that man was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace, help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God's children, Black, White, Red, and Yellow, will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the kingdom of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.
Amidst the turmoil of the turbulent 1960s, the African-American Civil Rights Movement sought to put an end to racial segregation. Often through non-violent demonstrations, activists were able to create awareness, gain support, and nurture a social dialogue that produced results. Fifty years ago, in March 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. captured the movement's goal during his famous "How Long, Not Long" speech: "The end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience."
"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:3-6, NIV).
"O Lord God, do not destroy Your people, Your inheritance, which You have redeemed through Your greatness, which You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do not look at the stubbornness of this people or at their wickedness or their sin. Otherwise, the land from which You brought us may say, 'Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which He promised them and because He hated them, He has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.' Yet they are your people, Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your mighty power and by Your stretched-out arm."