Biography of Martin Luther King

Biography of Martin Luther King

Who is Martin Luther King? , School, Family

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a social activist and Baptist minister. He was a leader of the African – American civil rights movements in the 1950s and 60s.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia to Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. His father was a pastor in a church and civil rights leader.

His mother was a former school teacher. For his education, he went to Booker T. Washington High School. He was such an excellent student that he skipped two grades in high school. At the age of fifteen, he went to Morehouse College.

Martin graduated with a degree in sociology. He continued his education and attends the Crozer Seminary, and later Boston University. In 1955, he received his PhD.

Dexter Avenue, Pastor, Protests, NAACP, Discrimination

In 1954, Martin Luther joined the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and became a pastor. He was also selected as an official member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The first major civil rights protest campaign was the Montgomery bus boycott. It started after a black lady named Rosa Parks declined to give up her seat in a bus to a while man.

There was major discrimination in all public spaces at the time; even the bus seats were segregated to as ensure that while do not mingle with African- Americans. Parks was arrested for her bold move.

The boycott placed an economic strain on the public transit systems. King became the protest’s leader and official spokesman. It went on fir over a year. In the process, King was imprisoned, even his house was bombed. King handled the situation and the protest came an end.

Christian Leadership Conference, Mahatma Gandhi, Racism

After the boycott was successful, King and other civil rights activist founded an organization in 1957, called the southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The group was formed to organize African- American churches to conduct non-violent protests.

King was also a great orator. He delivered many speeches on racism and other sensitive issues. He met different religious and fellow civil rights leaders through his outreach. During 1959, he met the family members and followers of Gandhi. King described his encounter in his autobiography. He wrote many books and articles during this time. King’s first book was stride Toward Freedom:  The Montgomery story 1958.

Work with SCLC, Birmingham jail’, Non-Violent Movement

He continued to work tirelessly with his SCLC parents. He also took part in one of the most important civil rights battles of the 1960s. He was part of the non-violence movement, especially during the Birmingham campaign of 1963. He came up with a civil rights declaration called the “Letter from Birmingham jail’.

Washington, Quotes, Person of the year

In 1963, King organized the famous ‘March on Washington” in which thousands of people marched to show their support for the civil rights movement. King raised issues like discrimination in public schools, protection from police harassment and prejudice in employment. He gave his legendary speech containing the much quoted words “I have a dream”. It is one of the most influential speeches in history. The march on Washington was also successful. His last address was called “I’ve been to the Mountaintop”

During Period 1965-2004

He visited Jamaica in 1965, and then spent some more time there in 1967 to write his last book, Where Do We Go From here:  chaos or community? King was named the ‘Person of the year’ by Time Magazine in 1963. In 1964 he became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1977, King received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to him posthumously in 2004.

Good Bye to the World

King died on April 4, 1968 at the age of 39 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was shot while he was standing in a model’s second – floor balcony. After his death, many of his followers participated in a nationwide riot. His wife took up the leadership of the civil rights movement. Coretta Scotta became an active member of the women’s movement and the LGBT rights movement.

National Holiday

To pay tribute to his great leader, the National Civil Rights Museum was built. Several streets were also named after him. The third Monday of January was declared as a national holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr.