Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! The city of Durham has helped shape racial equality during the civil rights movement and continues to do so today. More than 100 years ago Durham was a role model for the black middle class around the United States. Martin Luther King, Jr., as an American pastor, humanitarian, and equal rights activist, contributed so much to the African-American Civil Rights movement. His legacy continues to live on.
Did you know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was originally scheduled to be in Durham, not Memphis, on the day he died? In 1960, Dr. King made his famous speech that spawned the “fill up the jails” rallying cry at White Rock Baptist Church which is located on Fayetteville Street. For years, the congregation was led by Dr. Augustus Shepard, whose son, Dr. James E. Shepard, founded what became North Carolina Central University. In 1925, it became the first state-supported liberal arts college for African Americans in the United States. Now students of all nationalities and ethnicities walk the NCCU campus.
One of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most famous speeches, “I Have a Dream” given in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom, he says the following inspirational words:
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today….”
“I Have a Dream” came to be regarded as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory. The March, and especially King’s speech, helped put civil rights at the top of the agenda of reformers in the United States and facilitated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. On October 14, 1964, Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through non-violence.
Morehead Manor Bed and Breakfast is pleased to be rated the #1 black-owned bed and breakfast in America, according to Black Enterprise magazine. We love extending our hospitality to guests from all over the world. There is so much that the Bull City offers. We hope you stay with us when you come visit the city of Durham.