Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta
Georgia. His father was the minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Church,
as was his father before him. "M.L.," as he was called, lived with his
parents, his sister and brother in Atlanta. Their home was not far
from the church his father preached at.
M.L.'s mother and father taught their children what would become an
important part of M.L.'s life - to treat all people with respect.
Martin's father worked hard to break down the barriers between the
races. His father believed African-Americans should register their
complaints by voting.
As M.L. grew up he found that not everyone followed his parents
principles. He noticed that "black" people and white people where
treated differently. He saw that he and his white friends could not
drink from the same water fountains and could not use the same
M.L.'s best friend as a child was a white boy and as children they
played happily together. But when they reached school age the friends
found that even though they lived in the same neighbourhood, they
could not go to the same school. M.L.'s friend would go to a school
for white children only and M.L. was sent to a school for "black"
children. After the first day of school M.L. and his friend were never
allowed to play together again.
When M.L. was ready for college he decided to follow his father and
become a minister. Also at college M.L. met a young woman named
Coretta Scott and they would eventually married. In 1954 M.L. received
his PhD. and accepted the job of pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist
Church in Montgomery which meant Martin Luther King, Jr. would now be
addressed as "Dr. King"
Dr. King's involvement with the civil rights movement began with the
arrest of Mrs. Rosa Parks on December 1st, 1955. Mrs. Parks, an
African-American seamstress on her way home from work, was arrested
for not giving a white bus rider her seat. Mrs. Parks was not the
first African-American to be arrested for this "crime", but she was
well known in the Montgomery African-American community. Dr. King and
the other African-American community leaders felt a protest was
needed. The African-American residents of the city were asked to
boycott the bus company by walking and driving instead. The United
States Supreme Court would end the boycott, which lasted 381 days, by
declaring that Alabama's state and local laws requiring segregation on
buses were illegal. The boycott was a success and Dr. King had showed
that peaceful mass action could bring about change.
In January 1957 the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLSC)
was formed with Dr. King as their president. The following May 17, Dr.
King lead a mass march of 37,000 people to the front of the Lincoln
Memorial in Washington, DC. Dr....