Why does Luther King want 1963 to be not an end but a beginning?
Martin Luther King was well aware that although the civil rights movement had provided a focus on racism and discrimination, what had been accomplished thus far was not nearly enough to solve all of the problems the United States had in these areas. He was looking forward to a time when people would be judged by "the content of their character," rather than the color of their skin, but he knew that marches and demonstrations and even the civil rights legislation that would come in 1964 were not going to completely solve the problem. Hundreds of years of slavery and a South that was so resentful after the Civil War that it legislated specifically against black people made it clear to him that it was going to be a long road. What followed bore out how right he was. For example, as recently as the 1960s, it was illegal for a black man and a white woman to marry in Virginia. Even today, with an African-American president, we are not living in a post-racial world. Research suggests that while people are better at concealing their racism, it is alive and well. Martin Luther King understood very well that his era was just a beginning.