Martin Luther King, Jr. Frequently spoke that Abraham Lincoln in his speeches and writings, recognizing Lincoln’s accomplishments, most notably his writing and signing the the Emancipation Proclamation.

You are watching: Abraham lincoln and martin luther king jr differences

While imprisoned in 1963 because that his participation in a non-violent protest in Alabama, King created a letter in solution to neighborhood clergymen. The clergymen had written that “When rights are repeatedly denied, a cause should be pressed in the courts and also in negotiations among local leaders, and also not in the streets.” King disagreed and wrote the now titled “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” to talk about why civil disobedience to be necessary. In his letter, King check the label “extremist,” making use of Lincoln and other well-known historical figures as examples of the term.

But though ns was initially disappointed at being categorized together an extremist, as I ongoing to think around the matter I gradually gained a measure up of satisfaction indigenous the label. Was not Jesus one extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do great to castle that dislike you, and pray because that them i beg your pardon despitefully usage you, and persecute you.” Was no Amos an extremist because that justice: “Let justice role down favor waters and also righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist because that the Christian gospel: “I be affected by each other in my human body the point out of the lord Jesus.” Was no Martin Luther one extremist: “Here i stand; ns cannot do otherwise, so assist me God.” and John Bunyan: “I will remain in jail come the finish of mine days prior to I do a butchery of mine conscience.” and also Abraham Lincoln: “This country cannot survive fifty percent slave and half free.”….. Maybe the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of an innovative extremists.

Later that exact same year, King gave his renowned “I have actually a Dream” speech on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial.

“I to be happy to sign up with with you today in what will certainly go down in history as the best demonstration for flexibility in the background of our nation.Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow us stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a good beacon light of expect to countless Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames that withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night the captivity. However one century later, us must challenge the tragic reality that the negro is still no free. One hundred years later, the life of the negro is still i m so sad crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chain of discrimination.”

King’s respect because that Lincoln is apparent in his references and also speeches. Though they lived a century apart, lock each had actually a vision of exactly how to do this country a “more perfect union” through higher freedom.

See more: 1999 Nissan Altima Service Engine Soon Light After Oil Change

Today, president Lincoln’s head remembers boy name Luther King, Jr. For his leadership and also enduring tradition in the civil rights movement.

Image courtesy Library of Congress

Ms. Needham is the administrative Assistant at chairman Lincoln’s Cottage.