Who was Martin Luther King Jr. and Why was he the most important civil rights leader of the 1960s?

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was the most important civil rights leader of the 1960s.

Using his belief in nonviolence, he helped to organize many peaceful marches, demonstrations, and boycotts. Through these actions, he helped African Americans win many rights that they had been denied for hundreds of years. His moving speeches and writings inspired other civil rights leaders.

At the March on Washington (1963) he delivered a speech that was broadcast all across the country. It was his most famous speech, called his “I Have A Dream” speech.

In it, he said, “I have a dream today, that one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.”

In 1968, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. He was only thirty-nine years old.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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