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Martin Luther King Bio

Uploaded by SchoolStinks! on Jul 07, 2004

Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia on 15th January, 1929. Both his father and grandfather were Baptist preachers who had been actively involved in the civil rights movement. King graduated from Morehouse College in 1948. After considering careers in medicine and law, he entered the ministry.

While studying at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, King heard a lecture on Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent civil disobedience campaign that he used successfully against British rule in India. King read several books on the ideas of Gandhi, and eventually became convinced that the same methods could be employed by blacks to obtain civil rights in America. He was particularly struck by Gandhi's words: "Through our pain we will make them see their injustice". King was also influenced by Henry David Thoreau and his theories on how to use nonviolent resistance to achieve social change.

After his marriage to Coretta Scott, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In Montgomery, like most towns in the Deep South, buses were segregated. On 1st December, 1955, Rosa Parks, a middle-aged tailor's assistant, who was tired after a hard day's work, refused to give up her seat to a white man.

After the arrest of Rosa Parks, King and his friends, Ralph David Abernathy, Edgar Nixon, and Bayard Rustin helped organize protests against bus segregation. It was decided that black people in Montgomery would refuse to use the buses until passengers were completely integrated. King was arrested and his house was fire-bombed. Others involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott also suffered from harassment and intimidation, but the protest continued.

For thirteen months the 17,000 black people in Montgomery walked to work or obtained lifts from the small car-owning black population of the city. Eventually, the loss of revenue and a decision by the Supreme Court forced the Montgomery Bus Company to accept integration. and the boycott came to an end on 20th December, 1956.

In 1957 King joined with the Reverend Ralph David Abernathy and Bayard Rustin to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The new organisation was committed to using nonviolence in the struggle for civil rights, and SCLC adopted the motto: "Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed."

There had been a long tradition of nonviolent resistance to racism in the United States. Frederick Douglass had advocated these methods during the fight...

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Uploaded by:   SchoolStinks!

Date:   07/07/2004

Category:   Politicians

Length:   9 pages (2,132 words)

Views:   8776

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