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Friday, January 18, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.?

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929, to Michael King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King.  King graduated high school at the tender age of 15. He received his bachelor's degree in Sociology from Morehouse College in 1948.  In the same year Dr. King became assistant pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, (the same church his father and grandfather pastored) and later became co-pastor alongside his dad from 1960 till his death in 1968. King continued his education receiving his B.D (Bachelor's of Divinity) in 1951 from Crozer Theological Seminary, and received his Doctorate in Systematic Theology from Boston University in 1955 at the age of 25.   

While he was studying in Boston he met Coretta Scott, they were married in June 1953 and had four children. 

Involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
Martin Luther King, Jr. was very dedicated in Civil Rights and quickly became an important figure in the movement.
  • He was a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP),
  •  He accepted the leadership role in the infamous Montgomery Bus Boycott that lasted 382 days. 
  •  Martin Luther King, Jr.was not only a founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he was also president from 1957 to 1968- A group that helps conduct non-violent protests to promote civil rights reform, as well as sponsoring mass meetings in key southern cities to help register black voters.
  •  He traveled six million miles, speaking 2500 hundred times where ever he was needed while still finding time to write five books and numerous articles.
  •   Dr. King directed the peaceful march in Washington, D.C. where he delivered the “I Have a Dream” in front of 250,000 people.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assaulted, had his home bombed, and was arrest around 20 times.
Some of Dr. King’s arrests included: 
  • On October 19, 1960 King and 75 students were denied lunch service and arrested in Atlanta Georgia after refusing to leave.  Even though the mayor had the charges dropped King was soon rearrested for a traffic violation.
  • Spring 1963 demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama, that received worldwide attention when because the police released the dogs on the people as well as their fire hoses.

King received several hundred awards during his life as well as after, some of them include:

  • Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35 being the youngest person at that time to be selected, as well as the second American and, the third African American.

  • He was selected one of the most outstanding personalities of the year by Time, 1957.

  • Link Magazine of New Delhi, India, listed Dr. King as one of the sixteen world leaders who had contributed most to the advancement of freedom during 1959.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s life came to a tragic end on April 4, 1986 in Memphis, Tennessee.  Dr. King was there preparing to lead a protest. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated –shot with a sniper rifle, on the balcony of his motel.  His murderer James Earl Ray was caught and sentenced two months later.

The Aftermath
Almost instantly after Martin Luther King’s death there was uproar. Riots resulting in deaths and vandalism plagued several parts of the Unite States.

Martin Luther King Day
Observe the third Monday of January commemorating the birthday of the late Dr. King. This holiday was proposed after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. It was nationally celebrated in January of 1986

 "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."
                                    -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

~Kimmy & Jess