MARTIN LUTHER KING
“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” These words were spoken by a great man. One who accepted all people for any color or race. He acknowledged the fact that all people are same & all have been bestowed to equal civil rights. This man is Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Michael Luther King Jr. was born at noon Tuesday, January 15th, 1929, at the King family household, 501 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta Georgia. Dr. Charles Johnson was the attending physician. Michael’s name was changed to Martin when he was about 6 years old. Martin Luther King Jr. was the first male child born in the King family & the second child born to Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. & Alberta Williams King. His paternal (related to father) grandparents were James Albert & Delia King who were sharecroppers for a farm in Stockbridge, Georgia. His maternal (related to mother) grandparents were Reverend Adam Daniel Williams, who was the second pastor for Ebenezer Baptist, & Jenny Parks Williams. He married Coretta Scott younger daughter of Obadiah & Bernice McMurray Scott of Marion, Alabama on June 18th, 1953. The four children Dr. King & Mrs. Scott had were Yolanda Denise (11/17/55) Martin Luther3rd(10/23/57 Montgomery, Alabama) Dexter Scott (1/30/61 Atlanta, Georgia ) Bernice Albertine (3/28/63 Atlanta, Georgia).
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. started his education at Yonge Street Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia. Following Yonge School, he was enrolled into David T. Howard Elementary School. He also attended the Atlanta University Laboratory School and Booker T. Washington High School. Because of his high score on the college entrance examinations in his junior year of high school, he advanced to Morehouse College without formal graduation from Booker T. Washington. Having skipped both the ninth and twelfth grades, Dr. King entered Morehouse at the age of fifteen.
In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. degree in Sociology. That fall, he enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. While attending Crozer, he also studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected president of the senior class and delivered the valedictory address; he won the Pearl Plafker Award for the most outstanding student; and he received the J. Lewis Crozer fellowship for graduate study at a university of his choice. He was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer in 1951. In September of 1951, Martin Luther King began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University. He also studied at Harvard University. He got his PhD degree in Boston University in 1955. Dr. King was awarded honorary degrees from numerous colleges and universities in the United States and several foreign countries. In 1957, he was awarded Doctor of Human Letters at the College of Morehouse. He was awarded Doctor of Laws at the University of Harvard. He was awarded Doctor of Divinity at the Chicago Theological Seminary. He had gotten many more awards at least several hundred awards in his lifetime. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was inspired by the life & teachings of Mohandas Gandhi, October 2nd 1869 – January 30th 1948, & he wrote this passage about him.
“Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable He lived, thought and acted inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore Gandhi at our own risk.”
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a great voice & he had great speeches. He had many protests, boycotts & many other things to stop racial harassment. Martin Luther King Jr. responded to Rosa Park’s arrest (she refused to give a front seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus). In 1955, he started the Montgomery Bus Boycott, with Ralph David Abernathy (Martin Luther King’s partner, fellow minister). Boycotters started organizing carpools, so people wouldn’t go on the bus. Black taxi drivers started making the fares 10 cents so the fare was equal to buses. The White Citizens’ Council went to violence after the Montgomery Bus Boycott. King & Abemathy’s houses were firebombed & boycotters were physically attacked. The boycott lasted for 381 days.
One of the most famous speeches given by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was the “I Have A Dream” speech. The speech goes like this.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the comers of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note in so far as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked “insufficient funds.”
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hoped that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “for whites only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends – so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, and to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day; this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi — from every mountainside.
Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring — when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children – black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics – will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
This speech was given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th 1963. He was also the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at age 35 in 1964.
Dr. King went to Memphis, Tennessee to help black striking sanitation workers whose pay was lowered because of their color.
Dr.King & Ralph Abernathy shared room 307 in the black-owned Lorraine motel. Dr.King, Ralph Abernathy & Jesse Jackson were on the outside balcony of the Lorraine Motel & King’s driver Solomon Jones advised him to put on a jacket since it was chilly & when he went to get the jacket he was shot by a rifle bullet by James Earl Ray. The bullet struck King near his jaw, fracturing his lower mandible, severing the jugular vein, vertebral and subclavian arteries and shattering several vertebrae in his neck and back. There was nothing that could be done and Dr. Martin Luther King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Hospital at 7:05 p.m. “Death was the result of Hatred”.
Martin Luther King Jr. showed us that all people of any race & color should be treated equally. Indians, Latinos, Mexicans, Muslims, French, English, Romans, Russians, Greeks, Irish, Polish, Napoleon, Houstonian, Dinkum, Arabs, Christians, Jews, Germans, Catholic, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, Vietnamese, South American, Canadian, & many more religions should all be given the same rights & same welfare. He was the drum major who was able & ready to lead our nation to greater heights through love & peace, Understanding that we are all different, that we are all marvelously unique is crucial. However, understanding that we are all significant and everyone deserves to be treated with respect is truly invaluable. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. has changed a lot of things in this nation. Black Americans needed him, but most of all America needed him.
If there is one person that anybody could count onto treat them equally as others that person is Martin Luther King Jr.
His birthday is January 15th & his birthday is a national holiday. Commemorate it with elation & ecstasy. There is truly no man more superior then Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.