MLK, Jr.

| January 31, 2012 | 1 Comment

We  enjoy a day off in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Continue reading to learn more about this important man and the place he holds in American history…

      Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929, in Atlana, Georgia. His birth certificate name is Michael, but this was later changed to Martin. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1948. He recieved a degree in Sociology and later recieved a Bachelor’s of Divinity in 1951 and then a Ph.D  from the Boston College in 1955. It was in Boston where he met and later married Coretta Scott. They had two sons and two daughters together.

     On December 5, 1955, Martin Luther King, Jr. was elected president of the Montgomery Inprovement Association. This group led the Motgomery Bus Boycott shortly after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. During this time, African-Americans refused to ride the public bus system in Montgomery. Due to King’s involvement, his house was bombed, but no family members were hurt. Martin Luther King Jr. was later arrested on charges of conspiracy (the Boycott lasted 382 days). In the end, on December 21, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public transportation was illegal.   

          The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was formed in 1957 and King was named its leader. Its goal was to provide leadership and organization in the fight for equal rights. He used the ideas of civil disobedience and peaceful protest based on the actions of Mohondas Gandi to lead the organization. Their actions helped bring about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

      Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a major part of many nonviolent protests as he helped lead the fight for equal rights; he was arrested numerous times. In 1963, numerous “sit-ins” were staged in Birmingham, Alabama, to protest segregation in restaurants and eating facilities. King was arrested during one of these, and while he was imprisoned, he wrote his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” In this letter, he argued that only through visible protests would progress be made. He argued that it was an individual’s duty to protest and in fact disobey unjust laws.

       On August 28, 1963, the “March on Washington,” led by King and other Civil Rights Leaders, took place. It was the largest demonstration of its kind in Washington, D.C. up to that time (approximately 250,000 demonstrators were involved). It was during this March that King gave his awe-inspiring “I Have a Dream” speech while speaking from the Lincoln Memorial. He and the other leaders then met with President John F. Kennedy. They asked for many things including an end to segregation in public schools and greater protections for African-Americans.

    In 1963, King was named Time Magazine‘s “Man of the Year.” Dr. King had stepped onto the world stage. He met with Pope Paul VI in 1964 and then was honored as the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded this on December 10, 1964, at the age of thirty-five. He gave the entire amount of the prize money to help with the Civil Rights movement.

    Between 1965 and 1968, King continued with his protest work and fight for civil rights. While speaking from a balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated. James Earl Ray was arrested and charged with the assassination.

     Martin Luther King Jr. lived to be 39 years old. During his life, he helped many African Americans in the fight for equal rights.

Written by: Julia

Category: News

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  1. justin says:

    that was a good artical

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