Martin Luther King Biography, Early life, Advocacy and Death

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Who is Martin Luther King

From 1955 until his death in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr., an American Baptist clergyman and activist, was one of the most well-known figures in the civil rights movement.

King was born and raised in a prosperous middle-class family immersed in the history of Southern Black ministry; both his father and maternal grandfather were Baptist preachers. His parents both attended college, and King’s father had taken over as pastor of Atlanta’s illustrious Ebenezer Baptist Church from his father-in-law.

He was instrumental in ending the legal segregation of African American citizens in the United States and in the development of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through his advocacy and motivational speeches.

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In 1964, King received a number of awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. He’s still regarded as one of the most important and inspiring African American leaders in history.

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Martin Luther King Early Life

Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Biography, Early life, Advocacy and Death
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Martin Luther King Jr. was the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He was born as Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929.

The families of King and Williams originated in rural Georgia. A.D. Williams, Martin Jr.’s great-grandfather, spent many years as a rural clergyman before relocating to Atlanta in 1893.

King had two siblings: Alfred Daniel Williams King, his younger brother, and Willie Christine, his older sister. The King family experienced a safe and caring upbringing. Martin Sr. was more of an enforcer, while his wife’s kindness effortlessly counterbalanced the father’s harsh hand.

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Martin Luther King Education

King started attending public school at age five while growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. He was baptized in May 1936, although he seemed unmoved by the ceremony.

King preferred studying law and medicine at Morehouse, but in his final year he decided to follow his father’s advice and go into the ministry. The president of Morehouse College, Benjamin Mays, served as King’s mentor there. A social gospel crusader, Mays’ eloquent speeches and progressive ideologies had a profound impact on King’s father.

King graduated from Morehouse College with a sociology degree in 1948 and enrolled at the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. He did well in all of his classes, graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1951, and was chosen to lead the student body. In addition, he received a fellowship for graduate school.

King, a well-known orator, was chosen to lead Crozer’s student population, which was predominately made up of white pupils.

After graduating from Crozer, King enrolled at Boston University, where he pursued a doctorate in 1955 for a dissertation titled “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman” in an effort to gain a solid foundation for his own theological and ethical inclinations.

Martin Luther King Advocacy

He promoted civil disobedience and nonviolent opposition against segregation in the South, influenced by Mohandas Gandhi. King and his supporters persisted despite frequent violence being used against them during the nonviolent demonstrations they organized throughout the American South, and the cause grew.

King was a persuasive orator who embraced American and Christian ideas while gaining increasing backing from the federal government and Northern whites. Bayard Rustin and A. in 1963 King’s renowned “I Have a Dream” address served as the event’s dramatic climax. Philip Randolph led the enormous March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. To hear the moving address, 250 000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The 24th Amendment, which eliminated the poll tax, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbade racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public facilities, were two of the civil rights movement’s two greatest victories in 1964.

Later that year, King won the Nobel Peace Prize at a young age (in 2014 Malala Yousafzai became the youngest to receive the prize at age 17). King publicly questioned American involvement in Vietnam in the late 1960s and shifted his focus to securing economic rights for low-income Americans.

Martin Luther King Death

Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Biography, Early life, Advocacy and Death

On April 4, 1968, he was killed in Memphis, Tennessee.

Just around six o’clock Martin Luther King Jr. is shot and killed outside his second-floor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, when he was standing on the balcony. The civil rights activist was in Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers when he was shot in the jaw and had his spinal chord severed while walking to supper. King arrived at a hospital in Memphis and was later declared dead. Age-wise, he was 39.

Martin Luther King became more and more worried about the issue of economic disparity in America in the months leading up to his assassination. In order to bring attention to the problem, he organized the Poor People’s Campaign, which included a march on Washington. In March 1968, he visited Memphis in support of the mistreated African-American sanitation workers. On March 28, King led a march for workers’ rights that resulted in violence and the death of an African American youngster. King departed the city but made a promise to stage another protest there in early April.

A Remington.30-06 hunting rifle was discovered on the sidewalk next to a lodging facility the evening of King’s assassination, just a block from the Lorraine Motel. The rifle, witness accounts, and fingerprints on the weapon all pointed to James Earl Ray, an escaped prisoner, throughout the course of the following few weeks. As a two-bit felon serving time for a holdup, Ray escaped from a Missouri jail in April 1967. A huge quest for Ray started in May 1968.

Ray was taken into custody by Scotland Yard agents on June 8 at a London airport. In an effort to travel to Belgium

To avoid the death penalty, Ray appeared before a Memphis judge in March 1969 and admitted to killing King. He received a 99-year prison term.

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