Today is the day set aside to honour the American civil rights activist, Martin Luther who led the Civil Rights Movement while maintaining his policy of non-violent disobedience to confront white supremacy. King was assassinated while planning an occupation of Washington, D.C. on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1971, posthumously, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous parts of the United States as well as made into a Federal holiday in 1986.
Martin Luther King is mostly remembered for his “I have a dream” speech but the man who dedicated his life to fighting for the civil rights of others said more inspirational things in his time. Find the 10 we love and find most applicable to the Nigerian situation right now below:
1. “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
2. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
3. “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop …I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”
4. “No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for”
5. “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”
6. “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
7. “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
8. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
9. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
And finally, from the most famous speech:
10. “I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
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