The King of Civil Rights

Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking to a crowd
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King giving a speech to followers in Selma, Alabama.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” These words were spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He worked hard to do the right thing for Americans. On January 15th, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Dr. King was a civil rights activist [a person who works for change]. There were many laws that were unfair to African Americans. He worked hard to change those laws.

Dr. King and his supporters believed that all people deserve respect. He gave many speeches and led many rallies. He helped lead protests. Some people did not like what King was doing. They fought against him. These people unleashed their dogs on the protesters. They sprayed firehoses at them, and threatened them. Sometimes they were violent. Nevertheless, the protestors remembered King’s words: “The time is always right to do what’s right.” It wasn’t easy, but they knew it was important work.

Martin Luther King, Jr. traveled the United States and spoke to many crowds. He gave his well-known “I Have a Dream” speech in front of hundreds of thousands of people. He got to meet President Kennedy, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Today, he is admired by people across the world.

What Do You Think? What did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. mean when he said “The time is always right to do what is right”?

Photo Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (LC-USZ62-111158)