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Martin Luther King Jr

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Tori Luna

on 7 September 2012

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Transcript of Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr. Family Life
Born as Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King.
Martin had an older sister, Willie Christine, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King.
The King children grew up in a secure and loving environment. Martin Sr. was more the disciplinarian, while Alberta's gentleness balanced out the father's more strict hand.
Though they undoubtedly tried, Martin Jr.’s parents couldn’t shield him completely from racism.
Martin Luther King, Sr. fought against racial prejudice, not just because his race suffered, but because he considered racism and segregation to be an affront to God's will.
In May, 1941, Martin was 12 years old when is grandmother, Jennie, died of a heart attack.
The event was traumatic for Martin, more so because he was out watching a parade against his parents' wishes when she died.
Distraught at the news, young Martin jumped from a second story window at the family home, allegedly attempting suicide.
During the work on this doctorate, Martin Luther King Jr. met Coretta Scott and aspiring singer and musician at the New England Conservatory school in Boston.
They were married in June 1953
Martin and Coretta had four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther King, III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice Education
Martin Luther King, Jr. entered public school at age 5.
Martin Jr. attended Booker T. Washington High School, where he was said to be a precocious student.
He skipped both the ninth and eleventh grades, and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta at age 15, in 1944.
In 1948, Martin Luther King Jr. earned a sociology degree from Morehouse College and attended the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Martin thrived in all his studies, and was valedictorian of his class in 1951, and elected student body president.
After being accepted at several colleges for his doctoral study including Yale and Edinburgh in Scotland, King enrolled in Boston University.
In 1954, while still working on his dissertation, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama.
At 25, King completed his Ph.D. and was awarded his degree in 1955. Spiritual Growth
In May, 1936 he was baptized, but the event made little impression on him.
Although his family was deeply involved in the church and worship, young Martin questioned religion in general and felt uncomfortable with overly emotional displays of religious worship.
This discomfort continued through much of his adolescence, initially leading him to decide against entering the ministry, much to his father's dismay.
But, in his junior year, Martin took a Bible class, renewed his faith and began to envision a career in the ministry. In the fall of his senior year, he told his father of his decision.
During his last year in seminary, Martin Luther King Jr. came under the influence of theologian Reinhold Niebbuhr, a classmate of his father's at Morehouse College.
Niebbuhr became a mentor to Martin, challenging his liberal views of theology.
Niebuhr was probably the single most important influence in Martin's intellectual and spiritual development.
In 1954, while still working on his dissertation, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama. Civic Virtue
Martin Jr. was involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
In January 1957, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and 60 ministers and civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches.
Martin Jr. encouraged the students of the "sit-in" movement to continue to use nonviolent methods during their protests.
On August 28, 1963, the historic March on Washington drew more than 200,000 people in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that King made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, emphasizing his belief that someday all men could be brothers. Montgomery Bus Boycott
On March 2, 1955, a 15-year-old girl refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city bus in violation of local law. Claudette Colvin was arrested and taken to jail. At first, the local chapter of the NAACP felt they had an excellent test case to challenge Montgomery's segregated bus policy. But then it was revealed that she was pregnant and civil rights leaders feared this would scandalize the deeply religious black community and make Colvin (and, thus the group's efforts) less credible in the eyes of sympathetic whites.
On December 1, 1955, they got another chance to make their case. That evening, 42-year-old Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home from an exhausting day at work. She sat in the first row of the "colored" section in the middle of the bus. As the bus traveled its route, all the seats it the white section filled up, then several more white passengers boarded the bus. The bus driver noted that there were several white men standing and demanded that Parks and several other African Americans give up their seats. Three other African American passengers reluctantly gave up their places, but Parks remained seated. The driver asked her again to give up her seat and again she refused. Parks was arrested and booked for violating the Montgomery City Code. At her trial a week later, in a 30-minute hearing, Parks was found guilty and fined $10 and assessed $4 court fee.
The night that Rosa Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon, head of the local NAACP chapter met with Martin Luther King Jr. and other local civil rights leaders to plan a citywide bus boycott. King was elected to lead the boycott because he was young, well-trained with solid family connections and had professional standing.
The bus boycott would be 382 days of walking to work, harassment, violence and intimidation for the Montgomery's African-American community.
Both King's and E.D. Nixon's homes were attacked.
The African-American community also took legal action against the city ordinance arguing that it was unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court's "separate is never equal" decision in Brown v. Board of Education. After being defeated in several lower court rulings and suffering large financial losses, the city of Montgomery lifted the law mandating segregated public transportation. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference(SCLC)
In January 1957, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and 60 ministers and civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches.
They would help conduct non-violent protests to promote civil rights reform.
The organization felt the best place to start to give African Americans a voice was to enfranchise them in the voting process.
In February 1958, the SCLC sponsored more than 20 mass meetings in key southern cities to register black voters in the South.
In 1959, with the help of the American Friends Service Committee, and inspired by Gandhi's success with non-violent activism, Martin Luther King visited Gandhi's birthplace in India.
The trip affected Martin Jr. in a deeply profound way, increasing his commitment to America's civil rights struggle.
African-American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who had studied Gandhi's teachings, became one of King's associates and counseled him to dedicate himself to the principles of non-violence.
Rustin served as King's mentor and advisor throughout his early activism.
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