Martin Luther King Jr
Name: Martin Luther King, Jr
Born: 15 January 1929
Passed: 4 April 1968
Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Residencies: Atlanta, Memphis, Tennessee
Known for: Led civil rights movement
Awards: The Nobel Peace Prize for non-violent struggle for civil rights for African-American (1964)
Michael King Jr, later to become known as Martin Luther King Jr, was an American civil rights activist in the 1950s.
Martin Luther King Jr was born into a comfortable middle-class black family. Martin Luther King’s first experience with racism was around the young age of 6. It’s said that one of his ‘white’ playmates told Martin Luther King Jr that he was no longer able to play with Martin because he was going to a segregated school.
In the North where he attended further education, it is said, that Martin Luther King Jr noticed the difference and how peaceful it was amongst the races. It is believed that it was this experience that sparked Martin Luther King’s ambitions and drive for equality and civil rights for African-Americans.
In 1953 Martin Luther King Jr married Corretta Scott, and they went on to have 4 children.
It is reported that the Montgomery Improvement Association was set up and led by Martin Luther King Jr in protest of Rosa Parks’ arrest in December 1955. The Association looked to boycott, not use, the transport system. This boycott continued
for over a year and later resulted in the city’s buses, in Alabama to be desegregated.
Martin Luther King Jr never gave up on his fight on seeking equal and civil rights for African-American. To increase his influence and push for change Martin Luther King Jr, along with other civil right leaders, organised a rolling programme of marches throughout the years. The civil rights march on 28 August 1963, is one that marked history. Martin Luther King Jr
in a combined effort to push for change marched with other civil rights movements. This march involved different races and more than 200,000 attended. It is at this march where Martin Luther King Jr made his famous speech: ‘I have a dream … “.
Martin Luther King
1964 saw the passage of the Civil Rights Act giving authorisation to the federal government (the federal government is equivalent to the UK’s devolved countries) to enforce the desegregation of public accommodation and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities including employment.
1964 was also the year that Martin Luther King Jr won the Noble Peace Prize. This was for his non-violent struggle for civil rights for African-Americans.
Martin Luther King Jr continued with the civil rights movement as there was still much work to be done. Four years later Martin Luther King Jr was murdered (assassinated). The 4th April 1968 marks his death. Some say Martin Luther King Jr knew his life was nearing to the end. Martin Luther King Jr told a crowd of people in the Mason Temple Church, Memphis on 3rd April that: “he had seen the promised land. Martin Luther King said he may not get there with you ….” . Martin Luther King Jr wanted people to know that they will get to that ‘promised land’.
The legacy Martin Luther King Jr has left behind is that he contributed to the overall success of civil rights for African-American. His name and his movement is known all around theworld and is an example to many.