The birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is Monday. Staff writer Carol Krucoff and photographer Michael Ford Parks went to the District's Martin Luther King Jr. Library and asked city residents, "What impact do you think King's life and work has had on this country?"
Pamela Green, 17, 14th and Morse streets NE: "To me he's been an inspiration. To most of us as blacks he's been a leader. His guidelines tell us to love each other, regardless of race, creed or color."
Raymond Brown, 38, South Capitol and Galveston streets SW: "He was a great man who has done a lot for our race and for everybody in America. The ideals that he had, of standing up for what's right and just, will spread throughout the world."
Curnel Bridges, 38, 13th and Otis Place NW: "The impact has been both positive and negative. The positive aspect is he showed that people can be brought together for a common cause -- the love of humankind. The negative impact is that he's an example not to rise up against the status quo. He was shot because he threatened the existing power structure."
Rebecca Ruggles, 25, Rittenhouse Street and 32nd Place NW: "For the black community he's a symbol of progress for people who we haven't always given a fair shake in this country. His impact is inestimable, especially in this city."
Dennis Jefferson, 25, Warder and Irving streets NW: "He brought a consciousness of the racial problem for one thing, and opened up the possibility of resolving conflicts and bringing together a sharing of different cultures."
Joe Carpenter, 24, 13th and G streets SE: "He brought about a general awareness of people as people, not people as objects. He's had a great impact in areas of equality in jobs and housing."
Kelvin Deveaux, 17, Underwood Place and North Capitol Street NW: "More people are trying to go by what he was saying. Blacks and whites are coming more together and you see less violence."