Martin Luther King Jr.'s work still resonates across Africa

The name of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. can be found across Africa on streets, schools, even a bridge in Burkina Faso. It's a measure of the influence of the American civil rights leader who was assassinated 50 years ago after speaking out against injustices at home and abroad.

Africa's push for independence from colonialism, which mirrored King's movement for racial equality in America, attracted his support.

He first visited Africa in 1957 for celebrations marking Ghana's independence. He later said African leaders told him "in no uncertain terms that racism and colonialism must go."

The parallels were perhaps strongest in apartheid-era South Africa, where laws oppressed the majority-black community for decades.

A bust of King was slipped secretly — by diplomatic pouch — into South Africa for display at the U.S. Embassy.