Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement

It is more important than ever to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year and to remember his vital work for racial equality and social justice.

The killing of George Floyd and so many other African Americans over the past year has underscored the urgent need to continue Martin Luther King’s campaign against racism and injustice. The Black Lives Matter movement continues to pursue many of MLK’s civil rights and social justice aims through non-violent protest and social activism that were at the core of his civil rights campaign in the 1960s.

Martin Luther King’s powerful speeches from the Civil Rights Movement continue to be relevant today because of continuing racism and injustice in American politics and society.

The New York Times reports that “Amid the change and upheaval, the words of Dr. King, both those celebrated and the less familiar, feel more urgent then perhaps ever before, both as a guide and a warning. From oft-quoted speeches to the words he never had a chance to deliver before his assassination, Dr. King talked about his vision of a just world, about the power of peaceful protests, and about disruption as the language of the unseen and the unheard.”

The Chicago History Museum is hosting a virtual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his leadership of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Chicago History Museum offers a exhibition on Remembering Dr. King: 1929-1968, a virtual tour of Chicago sites associated with Dr. King, podcasts, and other materials.

The museum website describes its virtual celebration: “A Baptist minister and champion of nonviolent activism, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential figures of the civil rights movement. He spent considerable time in Chicago protesting racial discrimination, particularly in housing and education. Explore ways the Chicago History Museum continues to preserve and amplify King’s legacy of action and activism in our annual family-friendly event. Take a virtual tour of the Chicago places Dr. King frequented such as the North Lawndale neighborhood and places of worship, participate in virtual storytelling, and create hands-on history art highlighting Dr. King’s messages of justice, peace, and change.”

See the Chicago History Museum website for its virtual celebration of MLK Day.

The New York Times reports on the continuing resonance of King’s speeches in an article entitled, “The Words of Martin Luther King Jr. Reverberate in a Tumultuous Time.”

This entry was posted in Crowd Studies, Digital Humanities, History of Race and Racism, Human Rights, Museums and Historical Memory, Political Culture, The Past Alive: Teaching History. Bookmark the permalink.

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