Background information


Martin Luther King Jr. was an African-American church minister, activist, and civil rights leader in the 1950s and 1960s. He campaigned for the advancement of the civil rights of people of color through nonviolent means and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. King was part of marches for black people’s right to vote, desegregation, or labor rights in the United States. He is well known for his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States.

King was shot in April 1968 at the hotel he was staying at in Memphis, Tennessee, where he traveled to show his support for African-Americans sanitation workers who were on strike. The killer, who was a fugitive prisoner, was arrested and imprisoned fou...

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