Why Martin Luther King Jr. wore a Hawaiian lei on Selma march

King visited Hawaii a number of times during his life. Just a year before the Selma marches, he spoke at a Honolulu conference for the Hawaii State Human Rights Commission—the first committee of its kind in the United States—of which Rev. Akaka was a board member. King found the Islands’ multiethnic population and everyday society to be an inspirational source of “racial harmony” as the struggle of African Americans made headlines across the continental U.S.

…”As I think of the struggle that we are engaged in in the South land, we look to you for inspiration and as a noble example, where you have already accomplished in the area of racial harmony and racial justice, what we are struggling to accomplish in other sections of the country, and you can never know what it means to those of us caught for the moment in the tragic and often dark midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, to come to a place where we see the glowing daybreak of freedom and dignity and racial justice.”

Why Martin Luther King Jr. wore a Hawaiian lei on Selma march | Hawaii Magazine

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