The Common Platform paper in response to the draft Racial Equality Strategy | CAP Arts Centre

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools. The Court affirmed that “separate but equal” facilities are inherently unequal. To segregate a child on the basis of his race is to deny that child equal protection of the law. It furthered the black person’s sense of dignity. King commented on how people in Asia and Africa are also discontented in their quest for freedom and human dignity—victims of colonialism and imperialism. “So,” says King, “in a real sense, the racial crisis in America is a part of the larger world crisis.”[1]

On December 21, 1956, after 382 days of the bus boycott, the U.S. Supreme Court declared bus segregation unconstitutional and the boycott was brought to an end. In King’s speech the day after the announcement, he told his overflow audience at St. John A.M.E Church:

“As we go back to the buses let us be loving enough to turn an enemy into a friend. We must now move from protest to reconciliation. It is my firm conviction that God is working in Montgomery. Let all men of goodwill, both negro and white, continue to work with Him. With this dedication we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man to the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice.” [2]

[1] Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. – Page 107

[2] Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. – Pages 96-97

This has been Part 54 of the Series A Life Worth Living. Read Part 55 – Letters from jail.