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One individual can begin a movement that turns the tide of history. Martin Luther King in the civil rights movement, Mohandas Ganhi in India, Nelson Mandela in South Africa are examples of people standing up with courage and non-violence to bring about needed changes.
If Rosa Parks had not refused to move to the back of the bus, you and I might never have heard of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Half a century ago, the amazing courage of Rosa Parks, the visionary leadership of Martin Luther King, and the inspirational actions of the civil rights movement led politicians to write equality into the law and make real the promise of America for all her citizens.
Today, I see thousands of Mahatma Gandhis, Martin Luther Kings, and Nelson Mandelas marching forward and calling on us. The boys and girls have joined. I have joined in. We ask you to join, too.
In 1999, I was in St. Louis with Martin Luther King III as we led protests against the state's failure to hire minority contractors for highway construction projects. We went at dawn on a summer day with over a thousand people and performed acts of civil disobedience.
I was raised in Arizona, and I went to public school, and the extent of my knowledge of the civil-rights movement was the story of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. I wonder how much my generation knows.
The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy led directly to the passage of a historic law, the Gun Control Act of 1968.
The library of my elementary school had this great biography section, and I read all of these paperback biographies until they were dog-eared. The story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Madame Curie and Martin Luther King and George Washington Carver and on and on and on.
Whether you're president or speaker, if you're wrong, we need to stand up and point it out. That's what Martin Luther King had talked about: being judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. So some of us pounded away on some of the ridiculous policies of Pelosi - and lo and behold, over time, the public began to see.
Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech always sends me down some path, some trajectory of some creative idea.
I'm hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That's what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that's from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.
There's a gap somehow between empathy and activism. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of 'soul force' - something that emanates from a deep truth inside of us and empowers us to act. Once you identify your inner genius, you will be able to take action, whether it's writing a check or digging a well.
Sue Monk Kidd
We're trained to see the world in terms of charismatic organizations and charismatic people. That's who we look to for leadership and change, for transformation. We're awaiting the next J.F.K., the next Martin Luther King, the next Gandhi, the next Nelson Mandela.
Discrimination against Jews can be read in Thomas Aquinas, and insults against Jews in Martin Luther.
You cannot hear the name Martin Luther King, Jr., and not think of death. You might hear the words 'I have a dream,' but they will doubtlessly only serve to underscore an image of a simple motel balcony, a large man made small, a pool of blood. For as famous as he may have been in life, it is - and was - death that ultimately defined him.
Michael Eric Dyson
I grew up in Ohio, where civil-rights accomplishments had already begun to accelerate before Martin Luther King appeared. In hindsight, we know that many people, black and white, were instrumental in changing the Jim Crow status quo on all levels.
The leaders who we admire who have been able to bring great change in the past - Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela - they're all inspirational religious leaders and smart tacticians. It would be nice to find the Muslim Gandhi, wouldn't it?
Dennis C. Blair
The Protestant Reformation had a lot to do with the printing press, where Martin Luther's theses were reproduced about 250,000 times, and so you had widespread dissemination of ideas that hadn't circulated in the mainstream before.
I want to be like Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, and John Lennon... but I want to stay alive.
Each year on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth, America has the opportunity to reflect on our nation's progress towards the realization of his dream.
The Civil Rights Movement, it wasn't just a couple of, you know, superstars like Martin Luther King. It was thousands and thousands - millions, I should say - of people taking risks, becoming leaders in their community.
When I was 15 years old and in the tenth grade, I heard of Martin Luther King, Jr. Three years later, when I was 18, I met Dr. King and we became friends. Two years after that I became very involved in the civil rights movement. I was in college at that time. As I got more and more involved, I saw politics as a means of bringing about change.
What created democracy was Thomas Paine and Shays' Rebellion, the suffragists and the abolitionists and on down through the populists and the labor movement, including the Wobblies. Tough, in your face people... Mother Jones, Woody Guthrie... Martin Luther King and Caesar Chavez. And now it's down to us.
I took an interest in the Civil Rights Movement. I listened to Martin Luther King. The Vietnam War was raging. When I was 18, I was eligible for the draft, but when I went to be tested, I didn't qualify.
Dr. Martin Luther King is not a black hero. He is an American hero.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.
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