Who does not know Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr.? The charismatic civil rights leader fiercely, yet nonviolently, battled the rising tide of racism and inequality in America during the 50s and the 60s, some 180 years after the country was founded on such noble principles as "all men are created equal."
He organized meetings, marches, and staged protests to wake America up to the institutionalized racism prevalent at the time.
Dr King courageously assisted with the Montgomery bus boycott, in the aftermath of Rosa Parks' arrest when she did not give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus in 1955.
The boycott lasted a little over a year. Dr King, among other historic accomplishments, also led the approximately 300,000-person march on Washington in 1963 where he delivered the memorable address, "I Have a Dream." He was more than a visionary.
He devoted years of his life ensuring that his dreams materialized into reality. His legacy is evident today as we see the socio-political advancements our nation has made in a mere 50 years since the onset of the civil rights movement.
It was the dreams of Dr King and his consistent efforts that helped bring to fruition the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. (MORE)
(Affad Shaikh is the civil rights coordinator and Maryam Ali is the media intern at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area office)