Last Updated 02 Apr 2020

Martin Luther King Jr

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Martin Luther King was born in 1929 in Atlanta. He was the son of Baptist preacher. He had strived hard to bring about the liberation of the African Americans. Martin Luther King was honored by, although posthumously, by the Congress, which belatedly declared his birth day as national holiday. It did so after nearly two decades had transpired from the date of his assassination, for his outstanding attempts to uplift the civil rights of blacks in the US. (Carson).

King was a very good student and attended segregated public schools. In the year 1948 he obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the Morehouse College. He completed his graduation with honors in 1951 from the Crozer Theological Seminary. Finally, he obtained doctorate in the year 1955, in systematic theology (Norrell).

During his education he became aware of the civil disobedience method of protest and decided to utilize it for securing racial justice. In 1955 he completed his doctorate in theology. Subsequently, Martin Luther King obtained employment as a minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery (Huang).

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Subsequently, in the year 1957, King played an active role in the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, whose objective was to confront racial segregation. The early years of the 1960’s were witness to King’s numerous protest campaigns against segregation in housing, hotels, restaurants and transport. These campaigns were in the national limelight (Norrell).

In 1960, King returned to Alabama and worked in the Ebenezer Church. He was of the opinion that equality and freedom constituted an important part of God’s plan. Moreover, Martin Luther King believed in nonviolence. He adopted a strategy of nonviolence and this won him the support of the people. Some of the components of his strategy to obtain civil rights, were to conduct meetings with large gatherings of people, utilize powerful rhetoric and make broadcasts across the nation (Huang).

Martin Luther King opposed the Vietnam War and did his best for poor people and American blacks. The granting of these rights to the blacks incensed a number of whites and James Earl Ray, a convicted criminal out on parole, shot him on the 4th of April, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Congress declared his birthday, the 15th of January as a Federal holiday in the year 1986 (King, Martin Luther Jr. In The Great American History Fact-Finder).

In addition to being a scholar, King was also an orator of considerable renown. His oratorical magnum opus was the I Have a Dream speech, which he delivered to on the 28th of August, 1963. His spell bound audience on that occasion numbered in excess of two hundred thousand civil rights supporters. This speech is one of the best in the history of the US. This speech was instrumental in bringing about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made it unlawful to enforce segregation, and discrimination in employment and education. These great achievements brought King the Nobel Prize for peace in 1964 (Norrell).

From the year 1966, King gave a different direction to his mission. He concentrated more on economic issues and called for a more equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth, so as to mitigate the abject poverty and wretchedness of the black minorities. He was in the midst of working the finer details of a Poor People’s Campaign, which aimed at ushering in economic justice, when he was assassinated (Norrell).

In addition to the Civil Rights Act, King’s campaigns resulted in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited racial discrimination in housing. Subsequently, the focus of the civil rights movement was on education and transforming the attitude of the white majority (Mifflin).

King composed many scholarly and impressive articles, some of them are given in the sequel. Nonviolence and Racial Justice was published in the Christ Century. Its main contention was that the judicious use of nonviolent resistance could destroy social evils. Facing the Challenge of a New Age in Phylon Q, describes several essential requirements for blacks to obtain freedom with respect.

In Conversation in Ghana, which was published in the Christ Century, King elaborated upon some aspects of black segregation, freedom and violence. At the time of receiving the Social Justice Award, King made a stirring speech, which was reproduced in the Interracial Rev, volume 30 in May 1957. King was an advocate of employing love to bring about social change and this was described most succinctly, in The Most Durable Power, which was published in Christ Century, volume 74 on the 5th of June 1957.

Martin Luther King exhorted the people of the US to eschew imperialism and promote multiracial democracy and economic justice. King married Coretta Scott on the 18th of June, 1953. They had four children, Yolanda Denise; Martin Luther III; Dexter Scott and Bernice Albertine. People viewed Martin Luther King as the real proponent of black culture and history.
Annotated Bibliography

Carson, Clayborne. "The Unfinished Dialogue of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X." Magazine of History (January 2005): Vol. 19, Issue 1; P22.

This work describes the yeoman service rendered by King in ensuring the rights of blacks.

Huang, Carol. "His dream? Equality for all. ; Martin Luther King Jr. was a champion of civil rights, but he faced challenges and dangers." The Christian Science Monitor (January 9, 2007): P18.

This important article describes the ideology subscribed to by Martin Luther King and the strategies of non violence that were employed by him.

King, Martin Luther Jr. In The Great American History Fact-Finder. 2004. 5 February 2008 <http://www.credoreference.com/entry/6600892King, Martin Luther Jr.. (2004). In The Great American History Fact-Finder. Retrieved February 05, 2008, from DISPLAYURL>.

This article describes Martin Luther King’s opposition to the Vietnam War and his vision of uplifting the poverty stricken blacks.

Mifflin, Houghton. civil rights movement. In The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. 2002. 13 February 2008 . http://www.credoreference.com/entry/2444113.

In this article the author discusses the various righteous activities conducted by Martin Luther King in paving the way for the obtention of Black rights. Various legislative acts came into existence due to that endeavor. The civil rights movement was the struggle of the black community for equal rights and recognition.

Norrell, Robert J. "Martin Luther King, Jr." Microsoft® Student 2008 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2007.

This short work describes the myriad facets of Martin Luther King’s life. He was extremely successful in engendering black rights. He adopted non – violence and took great pains to convince the white Americans to lend their support to his cause. He was successful to a major extent in his endeavors.

Works Cited

Carson, Clayborne. "The Unfinished Dialogue of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X." Magazine of History (January 2005): Vol. 19, Issue 1; P22.

Huang, Carol. "His dream? Equality for all. ; Martin Luther King Jr. was a champion of civil rights, but he faced challenges and dangers." The Christian Science Monitor (January 9, 2007): P18.

King, Martin Luther Jr. In The Great American History Fact-Finder. 2004. 5 February 2008 <http://www.credoreference.com/entry/6600892King, Martin Luther Jr.. (2004). In The Great American History Fact-Finder. Retrieved February 05, 2008, from DISPLAYURL>.

Mifflin, Houghton. civil rights movement. In The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. 2002. 13 February 2008 <http://www.credoreference.com/entry/2444113 >.

Norrell, Robert J. "Martin Luther King, Jr." Microsoft® Student 2008 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2007.

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