On the night of January 30, 1956, a man hastily parked his car in front of the home of global justice icon, Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
The man, who turned out as a segregationist, paced the flight of stairs fast only to plant a stick of dynamite on the entrance of King’s home as the reverend was busy speaking to thousands of guests attending Montgomery Improvement Association at the Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s First Baptist Church, according to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.
A few seconds later, a huge explosion tore the entrance door, blasting the windows of King’s house open on a normally quiet and peaceful Alabama street.
At the time of the night explosion, King’s newly born daughter, Yolanda, was sound asleep in the house with his wife.
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At this time, Montgomery, the capital of Alabama was bursting at the seams due to incessant pressure as King, 27, led a massive bus boycott campaign, a protest organized after the December 1, 1955, arrest of yet another freedom icon, Rosa Parks, when she declined to vacate her bus seat in favor of a white man.
“I want it to be known the length and breadth of this land that if I am stopped, this movement will not stop. If I am stopped, our work will not stop. For what we are doing is right. What we are doing is just. And God is with us,” said King as he came to terms with the blowing up of his home, told an angry crowd that had quickly gathered outside his house that fateful night.
Months later, the groundswell of support for civil rights movement surged in Alabama, ending over a year later when the US supreme court ruled that the policy on segregation in public buses was not constitutional.
King’s unrivalled leadership of the bus boycott protests saw him gain a national distinction — and equally turned him into a prime target. You can learn King’s contribution to the torturous fight for justice here: History Channel 186 on DStv.
In 2016, six decades after King’s home was attacked, Colin Kaepernick made it to the books of Black resistance history, too.
At the time he made his mark, Kaepernick — an American football quarterback — was photographed by a San Francisco journalist, leading what would later turn into a huge protest in the sports arena.
In the photo that pushed him to global limelight, Kaepernick is seen sitting on the bench on the pitch as the US national anthem rents the air.
On questioning, the account for his action turns rather simple: to protest the fervent racial inequality and the ever ongoing oppression of Black people in the United States of America.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” he told NFL Media.
History is rich with heroes and heroines, who have fired into stardom owing to certain believes, acts of selflessness and worthy causes in life.
If you are a good student of Black history and the long journey it has taken over the years, you might have come across the exploits of James Baldwin, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Rosa Parks among others.
Now, imagine sitting back at the comfort of your home couch on a Saturday night and following the many, eye opening stories of John Lewis and Malcom X on black resistance to oppression? Or watching the both famous and inspiring story of Booker Washington, a man who was born into slavery only to rise into a leading African-American intellectual of the 19th century, who would go on to advise several US presidents.
For you and your older children in school, you can quench your thirst for histone by learning about the past and how it impacts your life today by taking a deep dive into why remembering those who paved the way for how we live today is so remarkably important on the History Channel 186 on DStv.