U.S. History – Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Junior was a man who changed many lives.

Martin Luther King’s name isn’t actually Martin Luther; he was born as Michael King Jr. (biography.com). Michael Jr. was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael Jr.’s father, Michael King Sr., had stepped in as a pastor in place of his father-in-law, who had died. He became a successful minister, like his father-in-law, and adopted the name Martin Luther in honor of the German Protestant religious leader.

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Soon after him, Michael King Jr. would soon follow his stead, also taking his father’s name. Martin Luther King Jr.’s father “strongly discouraged any sense of class superiority in his children which left a lasting impression on Martin Jr.” (biography.com). Which, later on when Martin Luther King Jr. would do his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington he said,

“I have a dream that my four 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.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr. / “I Have A Dream” speech, August 28, 1963

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King Jr. was asked by E.D. Nixon, the head of the NAACP at the time, to help plan a citywide bus boycott. King was asked to lead the boycott because he was young, well-trained, new to the community so he had little enemies, and so people felt he had very strong credibility within the black community.

With King Jr.’s “fresh and skillful rhetoric put a new energy into the civil rights struggle in Alabama.” Later on, King planned a demonstration in Birmingham to further push his idea of non-violence. One thing that was unique about Martin Luther King Jr. was that he had been jailed along with the other civil rights activists. He voluntarily decided on his own accord that he would take his stand and further push the civil rights for the black community.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a patient man who, with his non-violent approach and appeals to the white middle-class made him stand out among the other movement leaders.

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