This bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was created by Sara S. Miller in 1994 on commission from Judy P. Thornber, who donated it to the Chicago Historical Society.
This bust depicts Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the most influential figure in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. A Baptist minister and proponent of nonviolent direct action, King headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Recognizing Chicago's drastic segregation, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked with Chicago activists in the 1960s to promote residential desegregation. In 1965 King and the SCLC partnered with the local Council of Community Organizations to launch the "Chicago Freedom Movement" which aimed to eradicate Chicago's black slums by forcing open housing in traditionally white neighborhoods. In 1966 King gained national attention when he moved to his family to a West Side slum, and led highly visible marches through white neighborhoods. A meeting with Mayor Richard J. Daley later that year ended in an agreement that local leaders would promote fair housing, but the promise was never fulfilled. King's assassination in 1968 triggered a series of riots in Chicago's historically black West Side. [note from JA: I attempted to cut some text from the subject description in this entry and paste here, but this field will not allow pasting or significant manipulation of text, not sure why that is]