Civil Rights And Martin Luther King Jr.

1289 words - 5 pages

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great civil rights leader who gave his life in the name of freedom. The work of Martin Luther King, Jr. goes further than establishing peaceful social change strategies, he shaped America into the free country it is today. Before his protests in the south blacks, were treated like second rate citizens. It was uncommon to see blacks and whites using the same public restroom, or drinking from the same water fountain. Dr. King created a legacy that carried on far beyond his death. He had a dream that blacks and whites could live together in peace, free of segregation.
Born January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia Martin Luther King, JR. was rooted in the African American Baptist church. He was the grandson of Reverend. A.D. Williams, and the son of Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., both pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. “Young M.L.” as he was called, grew up in moderately comfortable circumstances in a city that was not as oppressive of its black residents as some areas of the South, but upheld stubbornly all aspects of racial segregation (American Reformers). Introduced to segregation at a young age he attended two separate elementary schools, one that was segregated, and another, which was just for blacks. He was a good student, skipping the ninth grade, and at fifteen upon completion of his junior year at Booker T. Washington High School, he entered Atlanta’s Morehouse College.

At the young age of eighteen, King was named a Baptist minister and became assistant minister at his father’s church. After receiving his bachelors degree from Morehouse, King entered the Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. He was one of six blacks in a student body of one hundred. King continued his excellence at Crozer, being named the schools outstanding student, and winning both a graduate fellowship, and presidency of his senior class. He used the fellowship to enroll at Boston University, where in 1953 he had completed all the courses necessary for his doctorate. In 1955 he was awarded his Ph.D. in systematic theology. It was here in Boston where he met his soul mate Coretta Scott (American Reformers).

Dr. King was very in love with and very grateful for his wife. “My devoted wife has been a constant source of consolation to me through all the difficulties” (King 37). She was always by his side and gave him support in his protests. Following the birth of King’s children, Coretta had to stay home and care for their two sons and two daughters. She didn’t mind the fact that King wasn’t home much. She knew he was fighting for a worthy cause.

In 1954 Dr. King was appointed head pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. This is where he was unanimously voted president of the Montgomery Improvement Association. Citizens of Montgomery began a bus boycott led by King. He showed exceptional skills as a speaker and great personal courage. During the Boycott he...

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