BY JULIUS KANE
Travelers visiting the National Mall searching for the founding fathers will soon be getting an unexpected surprise; the face of a black man. A monument honoring Civil Rights Pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will soon sit among those dedicated to former presidents Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Roosevelt. Thousands of people from around the country will travel to Washington D.C. on August 28th to witness the unveiling of the long awaited memorial. Since King’s assassination in 1968, many feel that such a memorial was long overdue.
King is one of several leaders who literally changed the social and political landscape of America during his lifetime. His leadership along with thousands of others led to The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banning discrimination in public places, jobs and housing. It also led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibiting discriminating voting practices such as poll taxes adopted by southern states after the Civil War.
Born Jan 15, 1929, the son of a Baptist Minister, King followed in his father’s footsteps and became one of the most influential ministers of the 20th century. King’s appeal, leadership and fiery sermons allowed him to organize one of the largest demonstrations in American history. Over 250,000 people gathered for the March on Washington where King delivered his now famous "I have a dream" speech to protest segregation and inequality among blacks.
King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and his birthday became a federal holiday in 1983; fifteen years after his untimely death. This new memorial is a fitting tribute to the legacy of the non-violent movement King spearheaded. According to an Aug 4th USA TODAY/Gallop Poll 99% blacks and 89% of whites approve of the memorial. Visit julius kane at: The Unexpurgated Truth