Martin Luther King jr was an activist and leader in the African American civil rights movement. His legacy will live forever in the hearts of Americans. He is considered by many as a human rights icon. He secured progress on civil rights in the United States, which has allowed many more Americans to reach their potential.
When was Martin Luther King Born?
Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a Baptist minister and a social activist who lead the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. His leadership was necessary to the success of the campaign to end legal segregation of African Americans in the south and other parts of the United States. He rose to national prominence through the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which promoted nonviolent tactics for change. MLK was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964.
Martin Luther King came from a middle class family that had traditions established in the Southern black ministry. His father and maternal grandfather were both Baptist preachers. His parents were college educated, and his father had succeeded his father in law as a pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Martin had an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother Alfred Daniel Williams King. His family lived on Auburn Avenue, which was home to one of the most prosperous black businesses and black churches before the civil rights movement. By all accounts, Martin grew up in a loving family and had a solid education.
Despite his happy home, he still experienced prejudice and discrimination that was common in the southern part of the United States. He never forgot what it felt like when he was six years old and was told by one of his best friend’s mother that he was no longer allowed to play with her son because he was “colored”. Martin Luther King was very close to his maternal grandmother in his early years. Her death in 1941 left him extremely upset, and he learned of her fatal heart attack while he was attending a parade despite not having his parents’ permission. He was very agitated by this event.
Martin Luther king jr College
When Martin Luther King was 15, he entered Morehouse College in Atlanta. Before starting college, Martin spent the summer on a tobacco farm in Connecticut. He was surprised that blacks and whites mixed peacefully in the North. This made his desire to integrate peacefully even stronger.
At Morehouse College, Martin preferred studies in medicine and law, but in his senior year, he decided to enter the ministry. King’s mentor, Benjamin Mays, left an imprint on Martin. He was committed to fighting racial inequality and blamed the black community for not taking more action. In 1948, King graduated from Morehouse College. For the next three years, King spent time at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he learned about the nonviolent philosophy of Mohandas Gandhi. He earned a bachelor of divinity degree in 1951. He was known for his speaking skills and was elected president of the student body of Crozer Seminary, which was almost exclusively white. After Crozer, King went to Boston University where he studied man’s relationship to God and received a doctorate for a dissertation that was titled “A Comparison of the Conception of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.”
While King was in Boston, he met Coretta Scott, who was native to Alabama and was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music. They were married in 1953 and had four children: Yolanda King, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King, and Bernice King.