Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. January 17th, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr. became the predominant leader in the Civil Rights Movement to end racial segregation and discrimination in America during the 1950s and 1960s and a leading spokesperson for nonviolent methods of achieving social change.

His eloquence as a speaker and his personal charisma, combined with a deeply rooted determination to establish equality among all races despite personal risk won him a world-wide following.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration (Monday)

The community is invited to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King through speech, music and drama.

Monday, January 16, 2017
5 pm to 6 pm: Praise and Worship; 6:15 pm: 
Boys and Girls Club of Freeport and Stephenson County,
511 S. Liberty Avenue, Freeport

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1964 and was selected by Time magazine as its Man of the Year. His “I Have a Dream” speech, which is now considered to be among the great speeches of American history, is frequently quoted.

His success in galvanizing the drive for civil rights, however, made him the target of conservative segregationists who believed firmly in the superiority of the white race and feared social change.

He was arrested over 20 times and his home was bombed. Ultimately, he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of a motel where he was staying in Memphis. A monument to Dr. King was unveiled in the national capital in 2012.

mlk-2017During the rally in the nation’s capital on August 28, 1963, Dr. King delivered his most famous speech, known as the “I Have a Dream” speech, from the steps of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial. Portions of that speech are often quoted, including, “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’ … I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The speech called not only for Negro rights, but for the rights of all people and, moreover, for friendship and unity among all Americans, with phrases such as, “I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration (Monday)

The community is invited to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King through speech, music and drama.

Monday, January 16, 2017
5 pm to 6 pm: Praise and Worship; 6:15 pm: 
Boys and Girls Club of Freeport and Stephenson County,
511 S. Liberty Avenue, Freeport

Beyond the repeated phrase, “I have a dream,” perhaps the best-known and most-often quoted portion of the speech comes from its concluding paragraph, which states:

“And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

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