Like Gandhi, Dr. King committed his life to peacefully helping people attain civil rights. Much of Dr. King's work concerned the civil rights of African-Americans. During the 1950s, there were fewer education and job opportunities for African-Americans than there were for other people. African-Americans also had little representation in government.
Segregation, or the separation of African-Americans and whites, caused problems that sometimes resulted in violence. The phrase "separate but equal" meant that whites and African-Americans were entitled to the same quality of treatment, but used separate facilities. Facilities for African-Americans were rarely equal, and often poor in comparison to those of white people. Dr. King believed that civil rights activism through protest, boycotts, and marches was the peaceful solution to these problems.
Dr. King believed in passive resistance, or using nonviolence, to achieve his goals. Seen here are protestors in a public display of civil rights activism.
"No society can possibly be built on a denial of individual freedom." - Dr. King
Courtesy: National Archives