Michael Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January, 15,1929. He changed his name to Martin. His mother was a school teacher and his father and grandfather were pastors. The public schools he attended were segregated and he experienced racism at this early age. Dr. King was only fifteen when he graduated from high school and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta. Morehouse was a very distinguished Negro College and in 1948 he received a B.A. degree.
While attending Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, he was elected senior class president of a predominately white class. After three years of study, he received the B.D. in 1951. His residency for the doctorate was completed at Boston University in 1953. He received his doctorate in 1955. It is here in Boston where he met Coretta Scott. They married in 1953 and together had two sons and two daughters.
King’s Work and Achievements
Dr. King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, located in Montgomery, Alabama; in 1954. At this time, he was also a member of the executive committee for the Advancement of Colored People. In December 1955, he became the leader of the first nonviolent, great protest. It was the bus boycott which lasted 382 days. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference elected him president in 1957. This group was formed to find new leadership for the civil rights movement. Dr. King held this position for eleven years, traveled all over the country and spoke over twenty-five hundred times.
During these years, his home was bombed in 1956. Dr. King wrote 5 books and numerous articles. He was arrested at least twenty times and assaulted several times. He also received five honorary degrees. In 1963, Dr. King gave his famous ” I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 1968, he went to Memphis, Tennessee to lead a protest march with striking garbage workers. He was assassinated on the balcony of his motel room on April 4, 1968.
In 1986, Martin Luther King day became a national holiday.
In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. became Time magazines Man of the Year and was on the cover. At the age of thirty-five, he was the youngest man ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Martin Luther King Quotes
There were so many great quotes from this man. Here is a small sampling:
” A lie cannot live” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
” A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
” A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
” Almost always; the creative, dedicated minority has made the world better” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
” Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
” Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see” – Martin Luther King, Jr.