[Zoe Leoudaki]: Just a few decades ago, America was a very different country. A black person could not sit in the same spot on the bus where whites sat. They had to enter buildings through a specific entrance, live in specific neighborhoods, and did not always have the right to vote. One man changed all that; he changed the status quo. It was Martin Luther King. With a series of peaceful protests in various areas of the American South, he led the movement for the equality of whites and blacks. On August 28, 1963, King led a great march in Washington. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, opposite the Capitol, in front of 250,000 people, he delivered a stirring speech, which has remained in history under the title “I Have a Dream.” [Martin Luther King]: I have a dream that one day my four little children will live in a country where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. [Zoe Leoudaki]: Martin Luther King was a priest of the Baptist Protestant doctrine from Atlanta. His idol was Gandhi, who tried to bring about social change in a peaceful manner. King’s first major success was in 1965 when the supreme court deemed racial segregation in public transport unconstitutional. Since then, blacks and whites began to share the same space on buses and trains. Jesse Jackson, a leading figure in the African American Community and former presidential candidate, was also there. [Jesse Jackson]: The dream was to elevate our spirits, and that was very successful. To move towards freedom, to remove the torment of thought. [Zoe Leoudaki]: Martin Luther King’s fight against racial discrimination was also supported by the Archbishop of America, Iakovos. On March 11, 1965, the white priest James Reeb was beaten to death in Selma, Alabama, by those opposing racial equality. A photo of Archbishop Iakovos at King’s side during the priest’s funeral has gone down in history. The Archbishop said, “The Christian must express indignation against all persecution. This is what made me go with Martin Luther King to Selma. We all bear responsibility and must continue to express our opposition.” [Zoe Leoudaki]: In 1964, Martin Luther King was honored with the Nobel Prize. And then-President Lyndon Johnson signed the law that made racial discrimination in public places illegal. In 1965, a law was passed that ensured equality in voting rights and banned discriminatory practices that prevented African Americans from voting. A few years later, in 1968, King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 39 years old. Forty years later, in 2008, King’s unattainable dream became a reality. Marked by the election of the first African American president of the USA. [Barack Obama]: What we achieved today, in these elections, this unique moment, change has come to America. [Zoe Leoudaki]: Racist violence and racial discrimination have not been eradicated in the USA. But the message of acceptance of others, regardless of race and origin, is timeless and cross-cultural. It is a fundamental pillar of the American reality. It is taught and applied in schools, in the workplace. And of course, it is part of American legislation. However, the struggles for a fairer society continue. Zoe Leoudaki, VOA, Washington.