Martin Luther King Jr., an American clergyman and civil rights leader, was shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.
He was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, and was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. CST. He was a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was known for his use of nonviolence and civil disobedience.
Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 through 1968.
He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights by using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.
King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and in 1957 became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama.
He also helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King’s birthday, January 15.
King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968.
In light of #BlackLivesMatter protests across the country, people have been reflecting on how #MartinLutherKing Jr. would have responded to the deaths of #MichaelBrown, #EricGarner, #TamirRice and many other black men and women who have been killed by police.
19-year-old spoken-word poet Sarah O’Neal recites her poem “An Overreaction,” where she speaks about Dr. King and her frustration at having to defend the protests.
Fearless Journalist And All-Round Badass Ida B. Wells Honored With Google Doodle
Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931), more commonly known as Ida B. Wells, was a journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, Georgist, and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She documented lynching in the United States, showing that it was often used as a way to control or punish blacks who competed with whites, rather than being based on criminal acts by blacks, as was usually claimed by white mobs.
She was active in women’s rights and the women’s suffrage movement, establishing several notable women’s organizations. Wells was a skilled and persuasive rhetorician and traveled internationally on lecture tours.
When Ida B. Wells was 22, she was asked by a conductor of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company to give up her seat on the train to a white man. She refused, and the conductor attempted to forcibly drag her out of her seat.
Wells wouldn’t budge.
“The moment he caught hold of my arm I fastened my teeth in the back of his hand,” she wrote in her autobiography. “I had braced my feet against the seat in front and was holding to the back, and as he had already been badly bitten he didn’t try it again by himself.
He went forward and got the baggage man and another man to help him and of course they succeeded in dragging me out.”
The year was 1884 — about 70 years before Rosa Parks would refuse to give up her seat on an Alabama bus.
Wells’ life was full of such moments of courage and principle. Born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862, Wells was a vocal civil rights activist, suffragist and journalist who dedicated her life to fighting inequality.
On July 16, Wells’ 153rd birthday, Google honored the “fearless and uncompromising” woman with a Doodle of her typing away on typewriter, a piece of luggage by her side.
“She was a fierce opponent of segregation and wrote prolifically on the civil injustices that beleaguered her world. By twenty-five she was editor of the Memphis-based Free Speech and Headlight, and continued to publicly decry inequality even after her printing press was destroyed by a mob of locals who opposed her message,” Google wrote in tribute of Wells.
The journalist would go on to work for Chicago’s Daily Inter Ocean and the Chicago Conservator, one of the oldest African-American newspapers in the country. As Google notes, she “also travelled and lectured widely, bringing her fiery and impassioned rhetoric all over the world.”
Wells married Chicago attorney Ferdinand Barrett in 1895. She insisted on keeping her own name, becoming Ida Wells-Barnett — a radical move for the time. The couple had four children.
Wells died in Chicago of kidney failure in 1931. She was 68.
Every year around her birthday, Holly Springs celebrates Wells’ life with a weekend festival. Mayor Kelvin Buck said at this year’s event that people often overlook “the historic significance of Ida B. Wells in the history of the civil rights struggle in the United States,” per the South Reporter.
“The white man’s dollar is his god, and to stop this will be to stop outrages in many localities.”
“In fact, for all kinds of offenses – and, for no offenses – from murders to misdemeanors, men and women are put to death without judge or jury; so that, although the political excuse was no longer necessary, the wholesale murder of human beings went on just the same.”
“The white man’s victory soon became complete by fraud, violence, intimidation and murder.”
“OUR country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob.”
“The nineteenth century lynching mob cuts off ears, toes, and fingers, strips off flesh, and distributes portions of the body as souvenirs among the crowd.”
“Although lynchings have steadily increased in number and barbarity during the last twenty years, there has been no single effort put forth by the many moral and philanthropic forces of the country to put a stop to this wholesale slaughter.”
Today (16th July, 2015), the Search engine Google is showing a Doodle on its home page in U.S, for celebrating 153rd Birthday of the Fearless Journalist Ida B. Wells.
Ida B. Wells, was an American journalist, newspaper editor, sociologist, and an early leader in the civil rights movement.
Ida Bell Wells was born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862, just before United States President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
I was born in Puerto Rico, a tiny island in the Caribbean,a commonwealth (“colony”) of the United States since the early 50’s. I was raised and lived there until my adult life. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement I was in my early teens. I must confess that I wasn’t aware of the events the country was going through.
Of course, I remember when JFK was shot and killed as well as when the same happened to Martin Luther King, Jr.
What I didn’t experience first hand is all that I have learned through time and reviewing historical data. Race in my country wasn’t that big of a deal because we are all a mixture of Spanish, African and Taino blood and ancestry.
I can’t begin to fathom what the “American Negro“, now called African American, went through. One would like to think that after the Civil Rights Movement advances, the differences between races were resolved. Some current events like Ferguson confirm that this isn’t the case. This movie portrays history in a real, touching, deeply inspiring and eye-opening way.
Sad to see our current reality.
Selma is a 2014 American historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb and Ava DuVernay. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and Martin Luther King, Jr. of SCLC and John Lewis of SNCC. The film stars David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson, Common as James Bevel, Tim Roth as George Wallace, and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King.
Selma had four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Actor, and won for Best Original Song. It is also nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards.
In 1964, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is practicing a speech in front of the mirror. He stops to call in his wife Coretta Scott to comment on his tie, feeling it makes him look undignified in the face of those he is set to honor. Coretta fixes her husband’s tie and assures him he looks fine. The couple then goes to a ceremony where King accepts the Nobel Peace Prize and recites his speech. Four young girls are walking down the steps at the 16th Street Baptist Church. They are talking about the way they do their hair when an explosion goes off, killing all the girls. Annie Lee Cooper fills out a form to become a registered voter. The white registrar asks her how many county judges are in Alabama. She says there are 67, but the registrar tells her to name them all. When she cannot, he denies her application.
King meets with President Lyndon B. Johnson and his adviser Lee C. White over the issue of black citizens not being allowed to register for voting. King acknowledges that the whites are illegally denying the registration forms of the black community, while also pointing out the senseless acts of violence against them, including the church bombing. What King and his group seek is federal legislation for black citizens to register for voting unencumbered. Johnson, however, is more concerned about getting rid of poverty in the country.
King travels to Selma, Alabama with Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, James Orange, and Diane Nash. They meet with Reverend James Bevel and other civil rights activists of the group SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) like Hosea Williams and Amelia Boynton at a hotel. As King is signing in, a young white man approaches him and socks King in the mouth. Johnson talks to J. Edgar Hoover about the incident. Hoover thinks King is becoming a problem, and he suggests to cause friction at home to weaken the dynamic, knowing there is tension between King and his wife. King goes home. Coretta shows reservations over her husband’s actions and concern for her family’s well-being. At night, King calls Mahalia Jackson to help him reach out and hear the Lord’s voice.
King speaks before a congregation of other civil rights activists and hopeful voters to rouse up their spirits and assure them that they will not let their oppressors keep them from reaching their goal. Their plan is to march from Selma to Montgomery, and their actions will be non-violent, despite knowing that the authorities would not hesitate to utilize violence against them.
King and his followers march through Selma before a crowd of white folks and the ruthless Sheriff Jim Clark. The marchers kneel down and put their hands on the back of their heads. One man fails to kneel as his wife and son help him. Clark and his cohorts go over to them and try to force the man down. When his son defends his father, Clark nearly strikes him with his club, until Annie hits Clark and knocks him down. In retaliation, Clark and his goons force Annie to the ground. King and many of his followers are subsequently arrested and incarcerated.
Eventually, the activists all gather for the final march to Montgomery. This is juxtaposed with actual footage of the real life marches. King delivers one more speech about how the black citizens are equal to the white citizens.
~As he continues his speech, we see some text on the film’s real life counterparts~
Andrew Young was appointed UN Ambassador under President Carter after serving three terms in Congress, and was later elected mayor of Atlanta for two terms
George Wallace unsuccessfully ran for president four times and was paralyzed by an assassination attempt in 1972
Sheriff Jim Clark was defeated by an overwhelming black vote and was never sheriff again
Viola Liuzzo was murdered by a Klansman hours after the march while trying to escort marchers back to Selma
Coretta Scott King established The King Center and successfully lobbied for a holiday in her husband’s honor. She never remarried
Five months later, Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with Martin Luther King, Jr. at his side. King would go on to lead the American civil rights movement for 13 years through nonviolence until his assassination in 1968. He was 39 years old.
King concludes his speech by saying that freedom is coming closer thanks to the grace of the Lord.
“SELMA” is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and led to President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
A humble celebration of a giant pillar of our Earth
THERE ARE NO WORDS TO ADEQUATELY ACKNOWLEDGE THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS INCREDIBLY AMAZING HUMAN BEING. NEITHER ARE THERE WORDS TO QUANTIFY THE LOSS THAT WE HAVE HAD WITH HER PASSING AND LEAVING THIS PLANE.
May she rest in eternal peace ….. Heaven has a new angel.
Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years.
She received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences.
She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. Since 1982, she taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she holds the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies.
With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a spokesperson of black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture.
Although attempts have been made to ban her books from some US libraries, her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide. Angelou’s major works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics have characterized them as autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre.
Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family, and travel. Angelou is best known for her autobiographies, but she is also an established poet, although her poems have received mixed reviews.