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Martin Luther King Junior

MartinLuther King Junior

The literatureabout the life of Martin King Luther Junior is massive with manyscholars writing biography about him and his role in American civilrights movement. King’s autobiographies have also helped scholarsto accumulate more literature about him. King who was born in theyear 1929 and assassinated in 1968 played a key role in advocatingfor human rights between 1950 and his assassination in 1968. King wasa Baptist minister and many religious people identified with him asan advocator for justice through peaceful demonstrations. King waspassionate about the plight of the disadvantaged people in thesociety and never hesitated to defend their rights. Equality for thewhite and black Americans was a key part of his movement, but headvocated for it through non-violence ways. King together with hisgroup of civil rights movement advocated fought for the rights ofvictims of injustice through peaceful demonstrations. According tomany of his biographies and other sources that were close to him,King was greatly inspired by Mahatma Gandhi who was an advocator ofnon-violence protests (King 21).

Discussion MartinLuther King Junior was a second born in a family of four. His fatherMartin King Sr. was a pastor and his mum Alberta King was a schoolteacher. King was born in Georgia, Atlanta and him grew in Auburnneighborhood, which was a place for the prosperous and prominentAfrican Americans. King was a gifted student who attended segregatedpublic schools and at the age of 15, King managed to join MorehouseCollege that was one of the best colleges by then. King decided topursue bachelors of medicine and law and in 1948, he graduatedsuccessfully. However, his mentor while, in Morehouse College, Dr.Benjamin Mays who was an advocate for racial equality convinced himto follow his father’s footsteps by joining the ministry. Aftergraduating in 1948, King joined Crozer theological seminary where hestudied a divinity degree. King later joined Boston University wherehe earned a doctorate in theology in 1958. While at Boston, King metCoretta Scott (1927- 2006) and the couple married in 1953. The familyof King was blessed with four children (Ramdin 20). King andhis family lived in Montgomery city that was the center of thestruggle for equal rights in America. In December 1955, Rosa Parks ablack man declined to offer a seat to a white man and was thusarrested. King, who was by then a pastor in the local area, ledactivists in a bus boycott that continued for 381 days. Americaneconomy was negatively affected by the boycott, but the activistswere not turning back until racism in buses was over. In November1956, High court declared segregation of seats unconstitutional butby this time, King had already gained fame as a leader who can leadnon-violence protests successfully (Ramdin 22). Martin as thepresident of the Southern Christian leadership Conference travelledwidely across the world meeting religious heads, political leadersand activists and giving lectures. It is during these trips in 1959that he met Gandhi whom he highly praised in his autobiography. Heauthored many books during his lifetime. Martin and his family movedto Atlanta in 1960 and this did not slow down the activities of hismovement. The Birmingham campaign of 1963 involved protests, sit-insand boycotts to oppose injustices, hiring mechanisms that were unfairand based on racial segregation. This major campaign landed King injail. In 1963 King organized the March to Washington together withreligious and civil groups in a peaceful rally to shed lights on theinjustices on African Americans. It was held on 28th August and wasregarded as the most essential parts of history in the movement inCivil rights, in America. It contributed to the enactment of theCivil Rights Act of 1964. It was during this march the he deliveredhis masterpiece speech that becomes popular on “I have adream.&quot By 1965, King had drawn much internationalattention and was regarded as the reason violence had erupted InSelma, Alabama between demonstrators that were peaceful andsegregationists. It was regarded as the march to Montgomery thatMartin Luther King led. Young radical who were supporting Lutherrepudiated his non-violent moves and commitment to the set politicalframework. Through Luther other black leaders rose to prominence andthis made the scope of activism even wider. In 1967, King organizedanother march that was the “Poor People Campaign” addressing theplight of African Americans during the Vietnam War. On 1968 April,King travelled to Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers.On an evening 4th April 1968, Luther was shot dead while on thebalcony of a motel in Memphis (Jones 34).Conclusion Thedeath of Martin Luther King led to riots among major cities in theUnited States and this made President Johnson declare a day fornational mourning. An escaped convict and recognized racist pleadedguilty to the murder and, as a result sentenced to ninety-nine yearsin prison. A bill was later created recognizing a holiday in honor ofKing that is to be observed on the third Monday every January.


Jones, Rob. Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Scholastic,2006. Print.

King, Martin. The autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. NewYork: Intellectual Properties Management In association with GrandCentral Pub, 2001. Print.

Ramdin, Ron. Martin Luther King, Jr. London: Haus, 2004.Print.