A Baptist minister and a vangard for civil rights through non-violent action, King was the closest this country has come to producing a leader with the moral stature of Mohandas Gandhi. His impact on the American consciousness produced an outgrowth of broad understanding and outreach for those who suffered greatly under the tyranny of prejudice and bigotry.
King's vision was born from the realities left behind by a lingering legacy of post-slavery America. Hard as it may be for many of us to imagine now, but his was a time of separate drinking fountains for the races, "colored balconies" in movie theaters and seats in the back of the bus.
The collective American conscience was so enraged by resistance to change by certain communities (specifically, in the South) that Attorney General Robert Kennedy was compelled to send in the National Guard to protect little children who were merely trying to go to school.
These were the conditions foisted on many American citizens less than 40 years ago -- and all for the pigment of a person's skin. King found ample fuel for a vision of a new struggle for equality; to finally win equal protection under the law for all people of all races.
Accomplishing much while alive, his enduring vision has gone on to inspire countless people decades after his untimely death in 1968. His hallmark speeches remain among the best examples of envisionary motivation and oratory inspiration. His now historic I Have A Dream was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on that famous sweltering 28th day of August 1963.