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The month of February celebrates and commemorates the history and tremendous achievements of extraordinary Black Americans in this country. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. championed the civil rights movement and contributed to world peace through non-violent social change.


Situated on a four-acre site along the Tidal Basin, the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial will be adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and on a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.


In commemoration of Black History Month, here are ten facts about Dr. King, remarkable Black Americans, and the civil rights movement:


  • Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery in 1849 and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad.
  • In 1863, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the Confederate states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
  • The landmark Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) holds that racial segregation is constitutional, paving the way for the repressive Jim Crow laws in the South.
  • Black History Month was originated by Carter Godwin Woodson as Negro History Week in 1926. The month of February was selected in memory of Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln who were both born in that month.
  • Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier when he is signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
  • On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court rules unanimously that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional in Brown vs. the Board of Education, stating that “separate can never be equal.”
  • Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a bus to a white passenger in 1955.
  • Buses in Montgomery are integrated on December 20, 1956 after federal injunctions are issued against many city and bus company officials. In the months before integration of buses occurs, the United States Supreme Court upholds an earlier ruling that declares mandatory bus segregation laws unconstitutional.
  • At the historic March on Washington on August 28, 1963, the first large integrated protest march, Dr. King delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968.

see more at Build the Dream

Human relationships easily become possessive. Our hearts so much desire to be loved that we are inclined to cling to the person who offers us love, affection, friendship, care, or support. Once we have seen or felt a hint of love, we want more of it. That explains why lovers so often bicker with each other. Lovers’ quarrels are quarrels between people who want more of each other than they are able or willing to give.

It is very hard for love not to become possessive because our hearts look for perfect love and no human being is capable of that. Only God can offer perfect love. Therefore, the art of loving includes the art of giving one another space. When we invade one another’s space and do not allow the other to be his or her own free person, we cause great suffering in our relationships. But when we give another space to move and share our gifts, true intimacy becomes possible.

February 2007
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