Martin Luther King Jr. was born Michael King in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15th 1929 to Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He was the middle child, with an older sister and younger brother. His mother was a teacher and his father was a minister and they always supported their children and encouraged them to stand up for what they believed in. He married Coretta Scott when he was 24, and they became the parents of four children; Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter and Bernice.
He attended a primary school for blacks, while his white playmates attended a different one.King was no longer invited over to their houses, which led to his mother explaining their history of slavery and segregation to him. While on a high school excursion, he and his black classmates refused to give up their seats on a bus, only moving because their teacher was in tears after being verbally abused by the bus driver. This experience gave him his first taste for wanting to give black people rights.
King graduated high school at the age of 15. He attended Morehouse College, a university for blacks which both his father and grandfather had attended, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology four years later.He then went to Crozer Theological Seminary and Boston University where he achieved his Ph. D. Martin Luther King Jr. was a minister and a civil rights activist for African Americans. He stood for desegregation, blacks having the right to vote, fair hiring and other basic civil rights.
He succeeded in gaining most of these rights into American law in the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. His civil rights career began when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott following Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat.He is most known for his legendary ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, which he gave at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in which he stated ‘His 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’… 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”. King strived to keep all protests and marches peaceful and used Ghandi as a model for his actions.In this, he proved to the world that non-violence is effective and set a standard for future freedom demonstrations. In spite of this, he and his family were threatened, their home bombed on multiple occasions and he was put in jail more than 16 times. Many whites strongly disagreed with his actions and went to great lengths to prevent him from succeeding. He continued his work regardless. Martin believed “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live”. Martin Luther King Jr. arrived in Memphis, Tennessee, to protest the unequal pay of sanitation workers.At 6:01pm on the 4th of April, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of his motel room. He was hit by a sniper’s bullet, which went into his cheek, through his neck and stopped at his shoulder blade. He was taken to hospital, but was pronounced dead an hour after he was shot. He was 39. Nationwide riots broke out, disregarding King’s major beliefs and resulting in 3000 arrests. April 7th was declared by President Johnson as a day of mourning and around 150,000 people attended his funeral. Thousands of his supporters took part in the sanitation workers’ protest anyway; it was a success.James Earl Ray was convicted of his murder but some believe that he was innocent, including a number of members of King’s family. Conspiracy theories cropped up and many speculated about FBI involvement. Ray pleaded guilty and was given a 99 year jail sentence; he died 20 years later. The motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot is now the National Civil Rights Museum Before the premature end of his life, King wrote 5 books, travelled 6 million miles and won a number of awards, such as Time’s Person of the Year Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album.He was also the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Most importantly he changed the lives of African Americans back then and today.http://history1900s. about. com/cs/martinlutherking/a/mlkassass_3. htmen. wikipedia. org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.http://www. nobelprize. org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio. html