Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A leader. An activist. A trailblazer. Dr. King may in fact be one of the most influential civil rights leaders of our time, a statement backed by his many achievements including, leading the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and organizing the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. But you cannot speak of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s achievements without mentioning his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at the 1963 March on Washington.
Dr. King paved the way for people of color to overcome adversity and to achieve great feats that many once believed were impossible, turning the once oppressed into fearless leaders. Some of the most progressive leaders influenced by Dr. King have roots right here in the Queen City. As we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we also take a look at Charlotte leaders who are blazing trails of their own and setting the foundation for others to achieve great things. These trailblazers and history makers help define the character of the city’s past and present and are the shoulders on which we stand in the 21st century.
Original story, The Shoulders on Which We Stand:Charlotte’s African-American Trailblazers and History Makers, By Dr. Brenda Tindal, Levine Museum of the New South Historian; Updated by Regina Johnson