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Google Doodle spotlights Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of unity

Doodle honors the slain civil rights leader on national holiday observing his birthday.

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Google Doodle highlights King's unity message.

Google

A cornerstone of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s fight for equality was unity: The idea that we needed to come together as people if anything is to be accomplished.

"We must all learn to live together as brothers," he said during a speech in 1965, "or we will all perish together as fools."

That message is underscored in an expressionist Google Doodle honoring the slain civil rights leader on Monday, a national holiday in the US. King's real birthday was Wednesday, but a federal holiday signed into law in 1983 sets aside the third Monday of each January to observe his birthday.

Born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, King began preaching as a Baptist minister in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1954. His message of nonviolent civil disobedience and love, delivered through powerful speeches and writings, shaped the character of the movement.

King urged Americans of all races to keep "working toward a world of brotherhood, cooperation and peace."

He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott against the policy of racial segregation in the Alabama city's public transit system. In 1963, he delivered his iconic I Have a Dream speech, calling for an end to racism, during the March on Washington.

For his efforts, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 -- four years before he was struck down by an assassin's bullet.

Monday's Doodle was created by Atlanta-based artist Fahamu Pecou, who wanted to highlight King's impact on society.

"He reminded us that no man was ever granted a right that he didn't fight for. And that when we come together -- we as a country, as a people, as human beings -- we can overcome anything and make this world a better place," Pecou said. 

It's not the first time Google Doodle has paid tribute to King. In 2018, it depicted a girl among a crowd listening to one of his speeches. It offered an image of King taking part in the Selma march in 2015, after a peaceful image the previous year. In 2013, a Doodle marked the 50th anniversary of the I Have a Dream speech.

The holiday is marked each year in communities across the US by marches, speeches, lectures and musical programs highlighting King's brave leadership.