“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the preeminent leader of the Civil Rights Movement, was a crucially important public figure and author in the 1950’s and ‘60s efforts against racial segregation and other discrimination. He achieved a massive following of activists as the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and led non-violent protests including the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the following year.
His best-known writings include the famous "I Have a Dream" speech and his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," both of which appear regularly in school curricula across the United States. He also published several monographs, including Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story and Why We Can't Wait.
In 1964 Dr. King donated a large trove of his papers to his graduate alma mater Boston University. Today the university’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center features a portion of the donation in an exhibit room accessible to the public. The Martin Luther King Jr. Reading Room, open regular business hours, is located on the third floor of Mugar Memorial Library.