On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we honor the sacrifices and victories of those who worked for racial equality.
While we cannot deny that America still has far to go in terms of achieving the late Dr. King's dream, neither can we say that what's been done is inconsequential. In the less than 50 years since King's assassination in 1968, we've seen the end of legal racial segregation in education, housing, and public spaces. We've seen recognition that some crimes are based solely in hatred and discrimination, and we've seen acknowledgement that sometimes, we need to take the extra action to affirm rights in the face of quiet discrimination. The achievements are enormous.
But while Martin Luther King Jr. is rightfully recognized for his contributions to the movement, he's far from the only face who fought, sacrificed, or suffered for their rights. Myriad others played roles, small and large, in asserting the freedom for every individual — regardless of the color of his or her skin — to be able to follow their dreams.
Here's what seven people had to say about their own contributions to a movement that defined an era.