Dr. Martin Luther King Essay

1083 words - 5 pages

For many Martin Luther King Jr. is famously known for his celebrated phrase, “I have a dream,” speech. Though he served a much greater purpose, one must first look to his Christian beliefs to understand the reverend which gave him the language, spiritual strength and community to fuel and sustain his singular efforts for justice, peace and freedom. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929 into a line of pastors. His grandfather and father both served as pastors for many years. Faith was at the center of his life and he saw his calling into the family business. King attained graduate degrees and established a doctorate in Systematic Theology in 1955 from Boston ...view middle of the document...

King used his Christian social gospel ideas to sought and expand the nonviolent civil rights movement. As his public role began, (Moldovan 1) King went on to say that blacks must not hate their white opponents that “Love is one of the pinnacle parts of the Christian faith.” In addition, “We must keep God in the forefront. Let us be Christian in all our actions.”
During his mission, (Maranzani 1) King was arrested after leading a Good Friday demonstration as part of the Birmingham Campaign, designed to bring national attention to the brutal, racist treatment suffered by blacks in one of the most segregated cities in America – Birmingham, Alabama. Shortly after Kings arrest, King obtained a copy of an April 12 Birmingham newspaper which included an open letter from eight white pastors who had publicly chided him for disturbing the peace. Within the jail cell King responded by writing an exquisite piece of Christian prophetic theology to fellow clergymen addressing how he was compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond his home town as the Apostle Paul did carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world. Over the course of the letter, King also portrayed inspiration from religious and political philosophers, quoting from St. Augustine and Socrates to Thomas Jefferson and then-Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren, who had managed the Supreme Court’s landmark civil rights ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.
By this time, “The Christian Century”, one of the most prominent protestant magazines in the nation published King’s letter which is notably known in today’s society as “Kings Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Due to the publication Birmingham raised chaos and left businesses to close, forcing local officials to meet with King to agree to some extent of his demands.
All in all, taking everything into account, King was jailed 29 times and narrowly escaped an assassination on September 20, 1958 by a woman named Izola Ware Curry who plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. After critical care King was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964....

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