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Martin Luther King Junior Biography (Martin Luther King, Jr.) : African American Civil Rights Activist
Famous for : Being an inspirational African American leader, activist, Nobel Prize laureate and for his famous "I have a dream" speech. The Martin Luther King Day holiday began in 1986 and is still celebrated in the United States of America.
King details : Born - 15th of January, 1929 Atlanta, Georgia, USA / Died 4th of April, 1968

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Martin Luther King Jr Bio

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Martin Luther King Jr. was a famous civil rights activist in the 1960s who spoke openly about the need for equality and peace between races in the United States. King was also a Baptist minister and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as well as the leader of the 1963 March on Washington where he gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work against segregation and racial discrimination.

Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia as the second child to the Reverend Martin Luther King and his wife Alberta Williams. King was born under the name Micheal which he later changed to Martin in honor of his father. He spent his childhood under the watchful eye of his father's church, even singing with the church choir. King excelled in his studies and entered college at the age of fifteen, having skipped ninth and twelfth grades. In 1948 he graduated with a degree in sociology from Morehouse College and entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. Three years later, in 1951, King graduated from the seminary with a Bachelor of Divinity and began his doctoral studies at Boston University. He received his Ph.D. In Theology on June 5, 1955.

During his time at Boston University, King became a pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Alabama. He continued to practice until his graduation from the university. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus on December 1, 1955, King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for 381 days during which time King was threatened and his house was bombed. The famous boycott eventually ended with a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court issuing a ban on racial segregation on public transportation.

The boycott became a significant part of King's involvement in racial politics and helped launch him into the spotlight of the civil rights movement. In 1957 King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to organize and harness the power of black churches and non-violent protests for civil rights. King found inspiration from Mohandas Gandhi and used this to help develop the peaceful protests of the SCLC.

King's peaceful protests were met with some resistance, but his persistence kept the media coverage focused on his efforts to bring attention to the Jim Crow Laws. It wasn't until the historical March on Washington, however, that King really attracted major attention. It was this march, the largest gathering of people in Washington at the time, that helped bring Congressional attention to the issues of segregation. It was also during this March that King gave his infamous "I Have a Dream" speech in which he eloquently described his dreams and goals for a fully integrated and equal America. King's non-violent protests in pursuit of a better society won him the Nobel Peace Prize in October of 1964.

King continued his pursuit of equality and took his cause to the north to establish the SCLC in Chicago. He was surprised with the amount of resistance against his organization in the area from all different sides of the community. King solidified his organization and even lived in the slums to show his dedication to understanding the area and their struggles. He eventually left Chicago and returned to the South, leaving the young Jesse Jackson in charge of the Chicago branch of the SCLC.

King continued to oppose racial segregation and conflict, openly voicing his opinions against the Vietnam War and the struggles of poverty at home and abroad. In March of 1968, King traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to talk on behalf of the public works employees there and the discrimination associated with their wages. On April 3, 1968, King gave his "I've been to the Mountaintop" speech. The next evening, on April 4, 1968, King was assassinated while standing on the balcony of the motel in which he was staying. He died shorty thereafter at St. Joseph's Hospital. He was mourned nationwide and riots ensued over his death.

King's wife, Coretta Scott King, continued King's work after his death and became a figure head for civil rights.

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Martin Luther King Quotes Martin Luther King Quotes

We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We are saying that we are God's children. And that we don't have to live like we are forced to live.
Martin Luther King Jr - People - America - Children - Racism - God - Protest
- Negative - Determination - Argument

Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence.
Martin Luther King Jr - Death
- Life - Destructive - War - Peace - World - Violence

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