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Martin Luther King Jr.
Transcript of Martin Luther King Jr.
Solving a Problem
Martin Luther King Jr.
A Leader of Change
Dr. King's Way of Life
Others Who Helped
Martin Luther King, Jr., was a great man who worked for racial equality and civil rights in the United States of America.
Dr. King believed in protesting in non-violent ways. He felt that people must choose loving solutions, not hateful ones. It is in this way that change will come about. Dr. King knew that one day things would change. In his famous speech, he dreamed of a world where there would be equality for all.
During the 1950's in the United States, black people were not being treated equal to white people. They did not have the same rights and were forced to stay separate from whites. They had to go to separate schools, sit separately on buses, use different water fountains etc. This is called
. They were being judged merely on the color of their skin!
Between 1955 and 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. helped change America. He brought to the world's attention how unfairly blacks were treated. He had the help of millions of Americans, but his strong leadership and unprecedented power of speech gave people the faith and courage to keep working peacefully even when others did not. This led to new laws that ended the practice of keeping people of different backgrounds apart, making life fairer for everyone.
What important people other than Dr. King were involved in the Civil Rights Movement?
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Dr. King became the leader of the Montgomery bus boycott.
Blacks were not being treated fairly during this time. On buses, black people had to give up their seats to whites to sit in the back of the bus.
Dr. King encouraged blacks to boycott the buses. A boycott means that black people refused to take the bus to make a point that they were upset.
I Have a Dream!
Dr. King led the "March on Washington" where he gave a famous speech to over 250,000 people. In his speech Dr. King explained that he dreamed of a day that black people would be just as equal as white people. Therefore, this speech became famously known as the "I Have a Dream" speech.
In 1964, Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded this prize since he always protested in peaceful ways.
Goodbye Dr. King
On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated. Assassinate means to kill someone because you do not share the same view or opinions as they do. This was a sad way for a peaceful man to die.
He was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. Martin had a brother, Alfred, and a sister, Christine. Both his father and grandfather were ministers. His mother was a schoolteacher who taught him how to read before he went to school. Young Martin was an excellent student in school; he skipped grades in both elementary school and high school . He enjoyed reading books, singing, riding a bicycle, and playing football and baseball. Martin entered Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, when he was only 15 years old.
Martin married the former Coretta Scott, younger daughter of Obadiah and Bernice McMurray Scott of Marion, Alabama on June 18, 1953. The marriage ceremony took place on the lawn of the Scott's home in Marion.
Martin and Coretta had four children:
Yolanda Denise (November 17, 1955 Montgomery, Alabama)
Martin Luther III (October 23, 1957 Montgomery, Alabama)
Dexter Scott (January 30, 1961 Atlanta, Georgia)
Bernice Albertine (March 28, 1963 Atlanta, Georgia)
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on December 1, 1955, because she was tired from a long day at work. Many African Americans participated in the Montgomery bus boycott for 381 days. Rosa Parks went to jail for a mighty cause.
Ruby Bridges was a young black girl who lived in New Orleans, Louisiana in the 1950s. Back then, schools in many places around America were segregated, which means that white children and black children were not allowed to go to the same schools.
In 1960 Ruby Bridges was chosen to be one of the first black children to go to a school that used to be for white children only.
The parents of the white children were very angry. They did not want their children to go to school with black children, so they kept their children at home. For months, Ruby was the only student in her first grade class. Slowly, the white children began to come back to school, and when Ruby started second grade, the school had many white and black children.
....So what is Martin Luther King Jr. day?
Every year on the third Monday in January, we celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. King. We think about the important lessons we learn from him and how we must always remember to treat each other with respect.
What Can We Learn?
We need to treat each other as equals. Always look around and think, "What can I do for others?"
We need to solve problems peacefully and not through violence. No matter how frustrating the situation seems, it is important to use our words and not "our fists."
Take a Stand
Whether it is helping others who are less fortunate, or taking a stand against something that is just plain wrong, each one of us can make a difference for standing up for what is right.