Building the Beloved Community

The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 10, 2019 to February 5, 2019

illustration of Civil Rights era protesters with signsFour simple words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom endure in ubiquity: “I have a dream.” King’s vision was a multicultural nation unified in justice, peace, and reconciliation. He described a new American Dream, one that favored community and collaboration over division and violence. Civil rights activists advocated for equal rights for African Americans through nonviolent resistance, community service, and legal reform. In mobilizing people of diverse backgrounds, the civil rights movement set in motion the work of building what King called “the beloved community.”

While activism did not start with King, his message and leadership continue to mobilize communities across lines of race, gender, language, and origin. Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemorates the birthday and legacy of King. Community activists honor the ambition of the civil rights movement by engaging in volunteer service and joining in solidarity with marginalized peoples, continuing to make King’s dream a reality—at William & Mary, in Virginia, and across the globe.

Curator: Jacob Hopkins, Mosaic Fellow
Design: Jennie Davy, Exhibits Manager