Martin Luther King Jr Biography

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Updated: Apr 10, 2023
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Category: Activism
Date added
2021/07/01
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Martin Luther King Jr. was more than an activist who was trying to end racial segregation, he was someone people could come to for advice. He said, “There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.” (“Martin Luther King, Jr.”) This quote shows that he cared for other people and hated to see people failing in life. This biographical essay on Martin Luther King Jr. will explore how he became known as this notable, reliable figure.

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Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. His parents, Martin Luther King Sr. And Alberta Williams King, had named him Michael, but he later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather and his father were co-pastors at Ebenezer Baptist church. He went to segregated schools in Georgia and was top of his class and graduated at the age of 15. King later attended Morehouse College and earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1948). Later that year, Martin Luther King Jr. earned a human science certificate from Morehouse College and went to the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. He aced all his classes and was valedictorian of his group in 1951, and chosen to be understudy body president.

In his last year in theological school, Martin Luther King Jr. was under the tutelage of Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays. Mays was a blunt supporter of racial uniformity and urged King to see Christianity as a potential power for social change, and had a drastic impact on King’s maturity and confidence in approaching social issues. After being accepted at several different schools for his doctoral degree, including Yale and Edinburgh in Scotland, King selected Boston University. While he was working to get his doctorate, Martin Luther King Jr. met Coretta Scott, a hopeful artist, and performer, at the New England Conservatory school in Boston. They were married in June 1953 and would go on to have four children: Yolanda, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice. In 1954, King progressed toward becoming minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama. He finished his Ph., becoming a Doctorate at the age of twenty-five. However, this Martin Luther King Jr. biography essay also includes another pivotal figure of the civil rights movement.

On March 2, 1955, a 15-year-old young lady wouldn’t give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city transport, despite it being both the legal and societal expectation. This individual, Claudette Colvin, was arrested and taken to jail. Community members and advocates were concerned about the uphill challenge they were going to face in freeing Colvin. While imprisoned, news leaked that Colvin was pregnant. Social equity pioneers were concerned that this would outrage the black religious community, as Colvin was unwed, and make her plight less valid to the white American neighbors. After many months, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) rallied together to attempt another peaceful protest. On December 1, 1955, a 42-year-old black woman sat in the front row of the “colored” section of the bus. As the white section filled to capacity, a white rider asked this woman, Rosa Parks, to give up her seat to allow him to sit. She refused. Much like Claudette Colvin, Rosa Parks was also arrested. The NAACP reached out to Dr. King, a young, well-connected individual, to create a list of transportation agencies to boycott in hopes it would make an impact on the segregated transportation laws.

In his first speech as the leader of the group, King said, We have no option, however, to challenge. We have now and again given our white siblings the inclination that we preferred the manner in which we were being dealt with. However, we come here today around evening time to be spared from that persistence that makes us understand anything short of opportunity and equity.”

Feeling empowered by the success of the bus boycott, King and other civil rights activists—most of them fellow ministers—founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, a group committed to achieving full equality for African Americans through nonviolent protest.] While he was serving as the SCLC president, Martin Luther King, Jr. traveled around the nation and the globe, giving speeches on the benefits of nonviolent protesting. He talked about the importance of social justice, rights, and gathering with religious figures, activists, and political leaders.

During a month-long trip to India in 1959, King had the chance to meet relatives and followers of Gandhi, the man in his autobiography as “the controlling light of our strategy of peaceful social change.” King took great inspiration from this legend and wanted to be like him, using writing and non-violent strategies to affect change.

King took his family and moved to Atlanta in 1960. He then became co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. He moved after the death of his grandfather and worked with his father. This church had a history in his family, and he wanted his kids to be immersed in it. This new position did not stop King in his quest for equal rights in the United States of America. King had always believed in peaceful protest. This philosophy was especially challenged in a serious test during the Birmingham battle of 1963, in which activists utilized a blacklist, sit-ins, and walks to protest segregation.

Martin Luther King Jr. was imprisoned for his protests. It was then that he wrote the “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which was a major statement of equality. This motivated other people to take a stand against injustice. In this letter, King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly (Clayborne). Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea.” When the Birmingham movement was finished, Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters were making arrangements for a march on the country’s capital made out of different associations, all wanting change. On August 28, 1963, the notable March on Washington drew in more than 200,000 individuals in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that King made his celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech, persuading people about his belief “that one day all men could be brothers.”

“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” is one of the most well-known and still recited lines from this iconic speech.

King not only worked to end racial injustice, but he also tried to eliminate poverty in the United States of America. He worked on housing in the impoverished parts of Chicago that were deeply segregated. In conclusion, Martin Luther King Jr. greatly impacted the world in many ways and played an extremely essential role in the Civil Rights Movement. Some of his key accomplishments included spreading awareness of the movement through nonviolent protests. He fought against racism, poverty, and all types of social injustice. In 1983, President Reagan created the national holiday of MLK day to commemorate King and his accomplishments. King will always be looked up to for the great services that he did for our country.

Frequently Asked Questions
How do you refer to Martin Luther King, Jr in an essay?

Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent figure in the African American Civil Rights Movement, renowned for his leadership and advocacy. He is frequently addressed as Dr. King or MLK, and his legacy inspires countless individuals worldwide.

What are 5 important facts about Martin Luther King, Jr?

There are many important facts about Martin Luther King, Jr., but here are five: he was a prominent figure in the American civil rights movement, born in 1929 and assassinated in 1968, a Baptist minister who advocated for nonviolent protests, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and renowned for his inspirational speeches such as “I Have a Dream”.

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Martin Luther King Jr Biography. (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/martin-luther-king-jr-biography/