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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Martin Luther King’

Why Wait Til February? @Toyota Celebrates Black Excellence All Year Long! #LetsGoPlacesBHT2017

January 15th, 2018 by Christen

There’s a saying “You don’t know where you’re going, unless you know where you’ve been.” In today’s racial and political climate, it’s a refreshing welcome to see an automotive company committed to highlighting, educating and preserving the rich wealth of African American history and its contributions that have shaped this country into what it is today.


Toyota Black History Tour in the 2018 Camry Hybrid SE

Kicking off the Toyota Black History Tour in the ultra luxe 2018 Camry Hybrid SE.


Last month, I joined several amazing journalists and influencers for a Black History Tour chronicling the African American civil rights movement – powered by Toyota.  This immersive experience highlighted the sights and sounds of independence in the south from Atlanta, Georgia to Jackson, Mississippi.  The tour enlightened even the most astute historian on the rise of the Civil Rights Movement.  (If you think you know everything about Black History, think again.) Discover the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. beyond The Dream and how Toyota is driving the narrative and celebrating Black Excellence all year long below.


Our tour of Atlanta kicked off with Tom Houck and the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Atlanta, Georgia  

In Atlanta, GA we had the unique opportunity to experience a guided Civil Rights tour with Tom Houck – driver and personal assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King from 1966-1968.  Tom Huck worked with the NAACP, SCLC and VEP across the nation and highlighted stops included the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Georgia State Capital and Dr. Martin Luther King’s home.


The final home of Dr. King before his untimely death April 4, 1968.


Fall of 1947, King delivered his ?rst sermon at the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.



On August 28, 2017, the 8-foot-bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was unveiled at Georgia State Capita on what marks the 54th Anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech.


Did you know: Martin Luther King, Jr. was born Michael King, Jr. and his father says it was a mistake.  So in 1931, when his father became Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, he adopted the name Martin Luther after the famed Protestant leader.  When he was six-years-old, his father legally changed his name on the birth certificate to Martin Luther King, Jr.



Montgomery, Alabama  

In Montgomery, AL our first stop on the tour included the Dexter Parsonage Museum Tour where we walked the same steps as Dr. King where he and his young family lived between 1954 and 1960.  Dr. King was the youngest and the twentieth pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott from his basement office.


The Dexter Parsonage Museum, historic home to twelve pastors of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church from 1920-1992.


Did you know: When King married his wife Coretta, their honeymoon left a lot to be desired.  Since they could not stay at a white-owned hotel, the newlyweds bunked up at a black-owned funeral home on their wedding night. But the wedding almost never happened! In the beginning, Coretta was reportedly not interested in King because he wasn’t taller than her.


Much of Montgomery’s early civil rights activity – most famously the 1956 Bus Boycott – was directed by Dr. King from his office in the lower unit of the Dexter Avenue church.


From Montgomery to Selma we drove over an hour the same path that activists marched to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.  On 25 March 1965, Martin Luther King led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after a 5-day, 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, where local African Americans, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had been campaigning for voting rights. King told the assembled crowd: ‘‘There never was a moment in American history more honorable and more inspiring than the pilgrimage of clergymen and laymen of every race and faith pouring into Selma to face danger at the side of its embattled Negroes’.


53 Years later, injustice anywhere is still a threat to justice everywhere. (With Jawn Murray & Satchel Jester.)


Did you know:  If you think Main St. is one of the most comment street names, think again.  There are over 900 streets named after King spanning over 40 states in the U.S.  Over the course of his life of 39 years, Dr. King was arrested 30 times. One of his arrests was for driving 30 mph in a 25 mph zone with three friends in the car after which authorities put him in jail.


On August 6, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Recalling ‘‘the outrage of Selma.’’



Selma, Alabama

While in Selma, we discovered the true roots of the Civil Rights Movement and the foundation honoring the attainment of Voting Rights for African-Americans at the National Voting Rights Museum.


The National Voting Rights Museum & Institute offers America and the world the opportunity to learn the lessons of the past to assure we will not make the same mistakes in the 21st century and beyond.


The battle for voting rights and equality did not begin or end on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965. That struggle continues today through various efforts to remove barriers of voting in America and internationally. Foot Soldiers, members of the community, civil rights leaders, and survivors of the “Bloody Sunday” attack on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, founded the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Alabama in 1991.


The Museum was opened to pay homage to the courage and strength of civil rights supporters who suffered hatred, bigotry, violence and sometimes death in order to gain the right to vote for African Americans in America.


Did you know:  Adding to his accolades, King was the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  (That record was broken in 2014 by a 17-year-old activist named Malala Yousafzai.) He received the award at age 35 in 1964 and donated the $54,000 he received to a civil rights cause.



Jackson, Mississippi

To culminate our Black History tour experience, we had the opportunity to participate in the launch and celebration of The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and adjacent Museum of Mississippi History featuring music, Civil Rights activists and more.


The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the nation.


Visitors witness the freedom struggle in eight interactive galleries that show the systematic oppression of black Mississippians and their fight for equality that transformed the state and nation.


Did you know:  Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a single bullet fired at a Memphis hotel by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968 but he wasn’t only one who died that night. After King’s assassination, one of the hotel workers, Lorraine Bailey (who was also the wife of the motel owner and who it was named after), upon seeing King get shot, had a heart attack and later died as well.


Wise words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that apply more today than ever before and along with his legacy will live on forever.


Close to 400 miles later through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and I couldn’t ask for a more amazing team of professional journalists to travel through this black history journey with.


The Toyota Black History Tour culminates with the stylish 2018 Camry XSE in Jackson, Mississippi.


Thank you Toyota for driving the narrative and ensuring that many of us are reminded of our rich black history all year long.  For more on the Toyota Black History experience or the all new Toyota Camry follow #LetsGoPlacesBHT2017 online or visit today.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Most Inspiring Motivational Quotes #MLKDay

January 19th, 2015 by Lifestyle Staff

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Most Inspiring Motivational Quotes #MLKDay


More than 45 years after his death and 50 years after his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr.‘s stirring words and writings remain as relevant and inspiring today as they were when he lived. Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day today with fifteen of his most poignant quotes—some you may have heard already and some you probably haven’t—but all of them worth repeating and contemplating on this holiday of remembrance, service, and equality.


1. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

2. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

3. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”

4. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

5. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr


6. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

7. “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

8. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

9. “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

10. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”


Martin Luther King Jr.'s Most Inspiring Motivational Quotes #MLKDay


11. “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

12. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

13. “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

14. “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

15. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”


Now that you’re inspired, how do you plan to honor the life, legacy and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today? Share your #MLKDay plans and activities in the comments section below.





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