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“I have a dream.” These words echo in the minds of most Americans in the voice of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. As the head of the Civil Rights movement that started in 1955, MLK, as he’s more popularly known, sparked a great revolution in the history of America.

Back in the day, Black Americans did not enjoy as much freedom as they do now. They were still seen as a race of slaves, and they got treated really badly. Even a hundred years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln, it still seemed that Black Americans did not really enjoy a true sense of independence.

Then MLK stepped in and founded the civil rights movement. For years he fought for the rights of his fellow Blacks. The goal was for them to be treated equally, as fellow human beings. The movement fought long and hard. Eventually, on August 28, 1963, MLK gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to make a public declaration of what he aspired to achieve.

But with every great movement with a great leader, opposition is sure to follow. Five years later, on April 4, 1968, MLK was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. That did not stop the civil rights movement, though. It pressed on, no matter the challenges, and gradually they finished the fight.

Thanks to the efforts of the civil rights movement, Black Americans today enjoy more opportunities than they did more than 50 years ago. That is part of the reason why every third Monday of January, the USA celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This holiday falls around the day of MLK’s birthday, which is on January 15.

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