Martin Luther King was the most famous champion of black civil rights in the US.
He was born on 15 January 1929 when America was both racist and violent.
Like his father, he became a Baptist minister, but he didn’t just pray all the time!
His idea was to act in a non-violent way to abolish the racist laws of his country. And he managed to do it!
In those days, blacks were considered inferior in the US, especially in the south.
Even though slavery had been abolished, blacks lived separated from whites with their own neighborhoods, churches and schools.
In 1955, King took the defence of Rosa Parks, a young black woman, who refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man.
King was sent to prison many times for his actions to improve the living and working conditions of blacks. He was even beaten up!
On 28 August 1963, he made his famous “I have a dream” speech in front of 250,000 Americans.
Martin Luther King described the better world he was dreaming of, where all men could live together as brothers.
A year later, he became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner ever.
But on 4 April 1968, King was assassinated by a white racist. 100,000 people wept at his funeral.
But his fight was not in vain. The election of Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States, proved that things had really changed!