Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Speak for every audience

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Speak for every audience

Today around the web, people of all races, religions and political leanings will be sharing the Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes and speeches that resonate with them most. The Reverend had a gift for bringing polarized people together during one of the most socially-charged eras in our country’s history, and his message is doing the same thing in today’s equally challenging sociopolitical climate. MLK Jr. was a bridge builder and a uniter — and he linked us together through words.

During his speaking career, MLK Jr. delivered his message to diverse crowds. He shared his soaring rhetoric with impassioned U.S. protesters at the Lincoln Memorial and to international diplomats during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance ceremony. The Civil Rights leader shared his message in a eulogy for the children who died in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing, and at some of the biggest labor conventions in the country. And as a Reverend, he touched churchgoers with similar themes on a weekly basis.

How did the Reverend bring a potentially polarizing Civil Rights message to protestors, Christians, laborers, war Veterans, the working class and beyond? By putting racial equality into terms that every American could relate to: dreams, goals and opportunity. That’s the stuff America is made of, and Martin Luther King, Jr. is uniting us behind these themes as much today as he did on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.

(An interesting, little-known fact: MLK Jr. almost didn’t give his famous “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington that August day in 1963. He had another speech prepared and was delivering it when his close friend, Mahalia Jackson, called out to him, “Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream.” King stopped the speech he was delivering and seamlessly transitioned into his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The rest is history.)

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