Martin Luther King Jr.
"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." (S. King 17) These are the words made famous by a man who was one of the greatest civil rights leaders of our time.
Michael Luther King Jr. was born in the city of Atlanta, Georgia on January 15th, 1929. The second child of Michael Luther King Sr. and Alberta Christine Williams King, Michael was to become one of the most widely respected civil rights leaders in our country's history (#1).
Michael lived a very sheltered childhood in a middle class family. His house was located in a white neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia (Dubovoy 113). Even being sheltered couldn't keep him away from experiencing some racist situations. All of his friends, and even his best friends, were white. One of King's worst racist experiences occurred in first grade. While playing with his friends outside they suddenly turned on him and wouldn't play with him "because we're white and you're colored." (Dubovoy 114) King was devastated and he ran home in tears. It was his grandmother who was there to comfort him, explained to him what racism was, and told him about how African Americans struggle everyday for their freedom (Dubovoy 114).
Michael's father was a self-made businessman, an activist, and a pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. His mother stayed home and took care of him and his siblings. Michael Sr. had his own ways of expressing how he felt about segregation and he had unorthodox methods of protesting against segregation. One time while on his way to register to vote Michael Sr. rode the "whites only" elevator up the building to the registration booth. His father also helped found the Atlantic branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and also won the fight for equal pay for Black teachers in Atlanta.
King was highly educated for an African American in his days, having received his high school diploma at the age of fifteen (#2). He later attended Morehouse University in Atlanta, succeeding his father and his grandfather, where he graduated and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. While attending Morehouse he became an admirer of the college president, Benjamin Mays, and professor George D. Kelsey. Both men influenced Michael to become a minister. Upon graduation from Morehouse, Michael and his father both decided to legally change their names to Martin, like Martin Luther who formed the Lutheran Church (#1).
At the age of eighteen Martin asked his father to ordain him. This decision surprised his Martin Sr. because Martin has previously been set on not becoming a minister. After leading evening prayers with his church group, Martin felt a calling to God. Becoming a Baptist minister took very little, if any training but Martin was determined to learn more about his faith and receive full teaching from a seminary. He them enrolled into...