Biography of Martin Luther King Jr
Today, Martin Luther King has become known for his strength and courage in fighting for equal rights for all humans and the fight against racism. He also fought to encourage the importance of non-violent protest and resistance. Around the 1950s and 60s he fought for the provision of leadership to the African-American civil rights movement.
Early Life – Martin Luther
Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in 1929. Initially his name was Micheal Luther King Jr but he later had his name changed to Martin.
His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; His father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor.
Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen. He received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated.
Theological Life-Martin Luther King
Martin Luther enrolled himself at theological studies at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. Here, wins the election as president. Later he would receive an awarded a B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he got enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953. He received the degree in 1955.
In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race. King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. This was the leading organization of its kind in the nation.
Martin Luther King Leads Peaceful Protests
He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration. The bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King’s arrest ensues. His home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.
In 1957 he was also elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This was an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity. Its operational techniques was from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times. Appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world.
Activism and Nobel Peace Price Awards
He provided what he called a coalition of conscience and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”. He planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters. Martin Luther King also directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C. of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson. He will suffer arrest, upwards of twenty times and assaulted upon at least four times; awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.
later at the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123. He rather announced that he will use the price money for the furtherance of the civil rights movement.
Martin Luther King will fall to assassination on the Evening of April 1968. This happened as he was standing on the balcony of his motel room. He was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers in Memphis, Tennessee.
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