Perseverance means to work hard and never give up. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., showed a lot of perseverance in his life. He lived in a time where having black skin color meant you were not equal to those with white skin. He became the leader of the movement to gain rights for all people regardless of skin color. His “I’ve Been To the Mountaintop” speech was powerful, delivered in Memphis the day before his death, and was a shining example of perseverance. He said: “I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop...And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!” When times get difficult, when you aren’t sure what lays ahead, remember to persevere. Because through the efforts of men like Dr. King, an entire race was given the rights in our country that they so rightly deserved.
Maya Angelou once said: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” This means that sometimes failing is necessary to success. Sometimes you have to lose before you figure out how to win. Perseverance allows you to get knocked down over and over and still keep getting back up. And that is what Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights movement did. They kept getting back up. They kept dusting themselves off. They kept learning from their failings in order to achieve ultimate success. They persevered.