Martin Luther King Jnr - He raised public!s consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the best orators in US history. A hero to not only African Americans, he stood for human rights, marching on Congress in Washington to deliver his I had a dream speech. Delivered on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, King!s words are recognized as one of the greatest speeches of all time. He continued to work toward ending racial discrimination, and racial segregation, through non-violent means, so it is ironic that he was assassinated - one of the most violent deaths imaginable.
Nelson Mandela - The first black president of South Africa after the fall of the Apartheid regime, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1944, and protested against the regime that so discriminated against black Africans, a move which eventually led to him being put on trial for trying to overthrow the government in 1963, and subsequent imprisonment. He spent 27 years in jail, and was released in 1990 to find a South Africa much changed, thanks to the ANC and leader of the National Party, F.W De Clerk. He was elected President in 1994.
Mahatma Gandhi - He is India!s most respected political and spiritual leader, even now, decades after his death. He helped free Indians from British rule through non-violent resistance, and is honoured as the Father of the Indian Nation. Gandhi believed greatly in civil isobedience as a way to protest against tyranny and discrimination. But like many of his peers - men who have worked toward a more peaceful world, free of violence and bloodshed - Gandhi was assassinated, in 1948. Aung San Suu Kyi - Burma Prime Minister Elect, she is softly spoken and
small in stature but not in spirit. She has become an advocator of peaceful resistance, even in the face of oppression. Suu Kyi represents the best hope that the country will free itself of military repression. She has spent more than a decade under political detention for her beliefs. Her wish has always been that there can be democracy for the people of Burma.
Che Guevara - Recognized now due to that famous image on t-shirts, the Cuban revolutionary was actually, by nationality, Argentinean. His journey to understand the socio-economic plight of Cuba was documented in a diary and later made into a film. Guevara became fast friends with Fidel Castro, and helped in the fight to rid the country of dictator Baptiste. He later travelled to the Congo and then Bolivia, to try to duplicate his successes but was executed by the Bolivian Government for this political activity.
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