Why does Luther King want 1963 to be not an end but a beginning?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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. 

lcestudent | Student

In January 1963, Governor Wallace gives his inauguration speech at Montgomery. 1963 is the year, when for the first time, politicians become involved in questions such as equality between whites and Negroes. Political involvment for equality as promised in official texts ( "all men are created equal and endowed of certain inalienable rights such as liberty and the pursuit of happiness"...). This is why MLK wants to be a beginning, political recognition concerning matters of equality.Before, with the MIA and sit-ins, there were some movements towards equality but none of those were supported by politicians.

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"I Have a Dream" speech

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