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M Artin Luther King Essay

1027 words - 4 pages

Martin Luther King was born on 15th January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, a city in the south of the US. He was named after his father and the family (parents, grandmother and brother and sister) called him ML for short - a nickname that stuck with him all through his childhood.Growing up with racism.Every day, little things made it clear to him that to be black was to be a permanent second-class citizen. For instance, when he was only a little boy he was told to suddenly stop playing with his two white friends. Their mother sent him home explaining that they were getting too old to play with a black child. Martin's parents explained to him that he should never believe he was different and stupid, because he wasn't. Martin was still deeply hurt though and the children who had been happy to be his friends were set on the road to believing that all black people were different and inferior. As a black person Martin could only use certain drinking fountains and toilets; the others had signs in front of them saying 'whites only'. If he wanted an ice cream cone he was sent to a side window outside the shop. When he wanted to see a film, he couldn't sit downstairs - that was reserved for whites - but had to go up to the back balcony.blacks and whites did not go to school together, or use the same public library or the same parks. Blacks never lived in white areas. Maya Angelou, a famous black writer, says that when she was a little girl in the south, she just didn't realise white people were human beings like black people; they seemed so remote and strange.Martin's family.Martin's father was a pastor, at Ebenezer Baptist church, and within the local black community Martin's family was well liked and respected. Mrs King was a schoolteacher and she also played the organ at her husband's church. Martin had an elder sister, Willie Christine, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel. The children went so often to their father's church that they thought of it as their second home.A bitter moment.The most humiliating incident occurred when Martin was 15 and in his final year of high school. He belonged to the school's debating society and had gone with the society to a contest in another town, where he won a prize for his speech "The Negro and the Constitution." It was a proud moment and he was happy and pleased as he and his teacher rode home on the bus that night. As the bus went on, more passengers boarded until all the seats were taken. Then two white passengers got on, and the bus driver demanded that Martin and his teacher stand and give up their seats. Martin refused, but the driver insisted, calling him. This made Martin very angry. He had just been awarded a prize for his speech on black people's rights, yet here were the very same constitutional rights he had spoken about being pushed aside and forgotten.He felt like fighting, but he was with...

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