Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, "I Have a Dream."
You can read his full bio at biography.com.
Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, India, Mahatma Gandhi studied law and came to advocate for the rights of Indians, both at home and in South Africa. Gandhi became a leader of India's independence movement, organizing boycotts against British institutions in peaceful forms of civil disobedience. He was killed by a fanatic in 1948.
You can read his full bio at biograpy.com.
(born , Fort-de-France, Martinique—died , Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.), West Indian psychoanalyst and social philosopher known for his theory that some neuroses are socially generated and for his writings on behalf of the national liberation of colonial peoples. His critiques influenced subsequent generations of thinkers and activists.
Malcolm X was a prominent black nationalist leader who served as a spokesman for the Nation of Islam during the 1950s and '60s. Due largely to his efforts, the Nation of Islam grew from a mere 400 members at the time he was released from prison in 1952 to 40,000 members by 1960. Articulate, passionate and a naturally gifted and inspirational orator, Malcolm X exhorted blacks to cast off the shackles of racism "by any means necessary," including violence. The fiery civil rights leader broke with the group shortly before his assassination, February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, where he had been preparing to deliver a speech.