Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood as a leader for the oppressed during the Civil Rights Movement. He challenged the nation to transform America into a land of equality for all people—not just a select group. In many places in the country at that time (and not just in the South), laws were in place that discriminated against African Americans specifically and didn't allow them to fully participate in American society. King urged whites citizens to see the inherent injustice in these actions and to work toward a nation of racial unity.
This quote, then, is particularly meaningful for the white citizens who found themselves in a place of relative comfort during this era. King is saying that character is judged not by what people choose to do when times are easy (and there is little conflict) but by what they choose to do when they spot injustice.
Courageous people are those who leave a place of personal comfort and intentionally choose to step into a place of conflict on behalf of others...
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