By Robert Mooney
RICHMOND, North Yorkshire, U.K. – One thing that stands out about Martin Luther King, Jr. is the fact that he never gave up.
While King is remembered for his achievements in the Civil Rights Movement that campaigned for equal rights for African-Americans starting in the 1950s, it’s important to note that he didn’t always succeed.That he did not give up when he faced setbacks is something that sticks with me and with many others pushing for change.
For example, before he led successful, non-violent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, King’s movement targeted the town of Albany, Georgia, where they pushed for equality during an eight month campaign. Though King and many other protesters were arrested, they didn’t get far.
King gave up after eight months in Albany, admitting defeat, before focusing on a new push in Birmingham.
This is something special for anyone looking to King’s example.
Despite a massive setback, he continued to try to further the cause – even when he was locked behind bars in the Birmingham jail, where he wrote a famous letter answering his critics and justifying his tactics.
That’s the mark of a true activist, one who genuinely believes in a cause so much so he won’t stop, no matter how massive the obstacles.
King, who died in 1968, remains an inspiration across the globe because he was a man who stood up for what he believed in.
Though many know him for his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, it’s important to recall that his long struggle for civil rights had many other successes and also failures.
We can learn from all of them, the high points and the low. We should never forget the sacrifices he made to achieve the rights all Americans have today.
On Martin Luther King Day, I’ll remember his integrity and his ability to learn from campaigns that didn’t work out without ever giving up.
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