Before the actions of Martin Luther King, Jr., the United States was still facing extreme racial division in the form of segregation. After decades of racial tension, the country was crying out for a leader to help right the wrongs of the past. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the many incredible leaders that answered that cry, and his influence on social standards, race relations, justice and respect still saturate the United States’ population today.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was also known as Dr. King, having graduated college with a Ph.D. in theology. During Dr. King’s life, the United States was ruled by the law of segregation. Individuals had to attend schools, ride buses and drink from water fountains based on their skin color. White people and black people could not even use the same bathroom in many places. This law caused inequality and racism to rise throughout the country, and Dr. King was one of the many who found the law to be both unconstitutional and unacceptable.
Dr. King is most often remembered for his influence on race relations. His ‘I Have a Dream’ speech inspired thousands of individuals from all ethnicities to look beyond skin color, judging others based on actions and not on looks. His actions also helped repeal the segregation laws, which were proven unconstitutional by a Supreme Court decision. This allowed non-whites to receive for equal treatment and access to schools, transportation and employment for the first time in all of United States history.
However, Dr. King did more to influence his country than aid minorities. His teachings and philosophy also helped influence equal opportunity policies for people of different genders, religions and disabilities. He didn’t just aspire to bring African Americans to an equal level with white Protestants; he strived to ensure that all United States citizens, regardless of sex, skin color, background, beliefs or culture, were treated fairly and equally. He also strived to support the individual rights of every man, woman and child in the country. Today, it is not uncommon to have interracial marriages, dozens of ethnicities living side-by-side and multiracial populations working at all levels of business.
Dr. King was one of the few most famous, inspiring individuals in all of United States history. Before his assassination in 1968, he’d given dozens of speeches, met with government and religious leaders, led protest marches and given sermons on the brotherhood of mankind. Without his influence on the United States, segregation might still exist, inequality would run far more rampant and racism would be sky-high. His principles helped influence all Americans to embrace their fellow man and work towards a brighter, united future for the United States.