By Tiffany Unscripted
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a name synonymous with the word freedom— freedom of choice, freedom to live, and freedom to reach your full potential without constraints. Born Michael King, Jr., January 15, 1929, the Baptist minister always wanted equality for everyone. He constantly witnessed the plights of others, including what his family had to endure as he grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. knew a change must take place. It wouldn't be an easy task, but someone had to stand up for justice and be the voice for those who couldn’t speak out for themselves. Someone had to be a voice for the downtrodden.
Segregation was dividing the United States. Only a chosen few were able to benefit from educational resources. This had to end and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. knew change must come. As a leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he led a nonviolent March on Washington D.C. in 1963. The purpose was to achieve civil rights for everyone, especially African-Americans. His efforts earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Dr. King was instrumental in leading several nonviolent, civil rights protests across the United States until his death by assassination in 1968.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t have just one dream; he had many. He knew the world would not be color-blind overnight. With all his work there was still high unemployment in the African-American communities. He also made several petitions to the government, including an impassioned plea to end America’s aggressive anti-communist foreign policies.
As a woman of color, I was taught about the sacrifices African-Americans have made to ensure our freedoms. Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were just a few who made history in securing our rights, equality, and freedom. These people are perfect examples of what my parents taught me: the importance of nonviolent protests and how change can be effected through peaceful demonstration.
Dr. King had a dream of equality and that dream still burns brightly today. It has crossed racial, cultural, religious, and international lines. However, if he were alive today he would be sad to see how inequality has been repackaged in the form of employment and government services. He would be shaken to witness the abuse of power. It’s true that progress is not without its side effects. There is still much work to do.
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, many thought the dream was extinguished. It didn’t. His sacrifice paved the way for others to join in the fight for equality. He created a nonviolent template to follow. His dream lives on today and it still rings true in my life. You can see evidence of this in several films that follow Dr. King’s legacy. Check out my top five below.
This 2014 American historical drama is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches. The marches were led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lewis.
Refusing to give up her seat on a bus, Rosa Parks lit the flames of the civil rights movement and inspired others to stand up for justice.
The film documents the Civil Rights Movement, including the landmark Brown v. the Board of Education case in 1954, the march on Selma, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
Mahatma Gandhi was known for his peaceful missions. He embraced the power of mass non-violent civil disobedience.
Civil Rights Attorney Thurgood Marshall made history with his triumph in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America's public schools.
Whitney Young challenged America's business and political communities to make opportunities for Africa-Americans, where other civil rights leader could not.
Tiffany Unscripted has been the Managing Editor of Your Film Review for over two years at Occhi Magazine. She manages a small team of writers that cover all genres of movies, including writing featured articles on trending topics. In addition to writing, they cover live events, such as film premieres and screenings in Cleveland, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Silver Springs.
She especially enjoys the opportunity to meet emerging talent who enjoy sharing their passion, journey, challenges, and success with our readers. You can learn more about Your Film Review at OcchiMagazine.com.