A few quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech, 'Facing the Challenge of the New Age'
"Negro masses began to reevaluate themselves. The negro came to feel that he was somebody. His religion revealed to him that God loves all of His children, and that every man, from a bass black to a treble white, is significant on God's keyboard."
"We must remember as we boycott that a boycott is not an end within itself; it is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor and challenge his false sense of superiority. But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community"
"we love men not because we like them, not because their attitudes and ways appeal to us, but because God loves us. Here we rise to the position of loving the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed that the person does. With this type of love and understanding good will we will be able to stand amid the radiant glow of the new age with dignity and discipline. Yes, the new age is coming. It is coming might fast."
Reading MLK, something that strikes me is that at the very heart of his concern for social justice and civil rights was the fact that our Heavenly Father was deeply concerned with justice, and also the idea of Imago Dei, that all people are made in the image of God.
We see MLK's stress on man being made in the image of God in the first quote. Every person, because they are made in the likeness of God, has a sense of dignity and a natural worth to God. Therefore, the civil rights movement was ultimately about instilling mans natural right to be treated with a certain dignity because they are in fact made in God's likeness that it was constitutional law.
"Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry."