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Martin Luther King Character Beyond A Name

695 words - 3 pages

Martin Luther King Jnr

Biography
Martin Luther King Jnr was born on January 15th, 1929. Martin was the eldest son of Martin Luther King Sr. He was originally named as Michael Luther King Jnr; however he changed his name to Martin. His Grandfather and his Father were pastors, when Martin’s father died he acted as a co-pastor. He attended segregated public schools in Georgia; he graduated from High school at fifteen years old. He received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negros institution of Atlanta from which both his father and his grandfather had graduated from. He studied for three years at Crozer Theological seminary in Pennsylvania; he was then elected as president of a predominantly white senior class. He was awarded the B.D. in 1951, he won a fellowship at Crozer, and he then enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University. He completed his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. His studies at ...view middle of the document...

By then he was ready in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States of America, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honour of the laureate.
The boycott lasted for 382 days. Then on December 21, 1956, the Negros and whites rode the buses as equals. During the days of the bus boycott, Martin was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse; however he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.
In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the growing civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year space between 1957 and 1968, Martin travelled over six million miles and spoke over 2500 times, appearing wherever there was prejudice, gripe, and action. Meanwhile he wrote five books as well as many articles. During these years, Martin led a huge protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that was able catch the attention of the whole world. He called a coalition of conscience. He directed the peace march at Washington, D.C., in front of 250,000 people he delivered his address, "l Have a Dream", he conferred with President John F. Kennedy, he was arrested up to twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees and was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963. He became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.
At the mere age of 35, Martin Luther King Jnr, was the youngest man alive to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When told of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the maintenance of the civil rights movement.
On the evening of April 4th, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, he was assassinated. Martin was shot and killed by a white assassin, circa 100 000 people attended his funeral in Atlanta. He was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city. Since 1986 the third Monday in January has been elected Martin Luther King Jnr’s birthday, a federal legal holiday.

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