Martin Luther King was the first African American civil rights activist in the United States of America. An outstanding speaker and preacher, he tried to convince his supporters: racism must be resisted, but exclusively in non-violent ways, without bloodshed. In addition, he opposed the war and US colonial aggression in Vietnam. Below you can find out who Martin Luther King was.
In 1964, Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his achievements in democratizing American society. He really wanted to completely eliminate racial prejudice so that black and white people could finally coexist in America on an equal footing.
His father Michael King was the pastor of a Baptist church in Atlanta, Georgia. One day in 1934, Father Michael went to travel to Europe, visited Germany. There he became acquainted with the teachings of the German reformer Martin Luther and was so impressed with his work that he decided to take his name for himself and his five-year-old son. From then on, their names were Martin Luther King Sr. and Martin Luther King Jr. By this act, King the Elder obliged his son and himself to follow the teachings of an outstanding German priest and theologian.
Later, teachers of colleges and schools noted that Martin the Younger was significantly superior in abilities to other peers. He passed all exams with excellent marks, studied well, sang in the church choir.
At the age of 10 he was invited to the premiere of the film "Gone with the Wind" and performed a song there. At 13, Martin managed to enter the Lyceum at the University of Atlanta, 2 years later he became the winner of the speaker competition held by the African American Organization of Georgia. He once again proved his outstanding abilities by entering Morehouse College, passing the high school exams as an external student.
In 1947, Martin became a minister and assistant in the Baptist Church of Father Martin Luther King the Elder. At the same time, he decided not to leave his studies and the next year he entered the theological seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. There he was awarded a bachelor's degree in theology in 1951. At Boston University, he defended his Ph. D. in June 1955.
Life after school and the beginning of active work
After graduation, Martin Luther began to preach. At the Baptist Church in Montgomery, he became the leader of a black protest against racial segregation. The root cause was an incident that happened to the black Rosa Paquet when she was asked to leave the bus. She refused to do this, drawing the attention of opponents to the fact that she is also an equal American citizen. This woman was supported by the entire black population of the city. All buses were boycotted for a year. King Jr. brought this case to the Supreme Court. Segregation was declared unconstitutional by the court and then the authorities surrendered.
The situation described above is an example of bloodless and non-violent resistance to the authorities. Then Martin Luther decided to fight for the equal rights of blacks regarding education. A lawsuit was filed in the US Supreme Court against the authorities of those states where blacks were not allowed to study on an equal basis with whites. The court acknowledged the correctness of this claim, since the separate education of whites and blacks was contrary to the American constitution.
The first serious problems and danger to life
Opponents of the unification of black and white began to hunt King the Younger, as his performances brought thousands of black and white people together and were very effective. He has become for many influential people like a bone in the throat.
In 1958, at one of his many performances, he was stabbed in the chest. Martin was immediately taken to the hospital, his life was saved, and after treatment he continued his campaigning. He was often shown on television, wrote about him in the newspapers. Martin Luther became a very popular politician and leader, the pride of the black population in all states.
In 1963 he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Once in the Birmingham prison, he was soon released, as no crime was found. In the same year, Martin the Younger was received by US President John F. Kennedy. After meeting with him, he climbed the steps of the Capitol and delivered his famous speech to the crowd of thousands, which everyone today knows under the name "I have a dream."
In 1968, during a speech in front of demonstrators in Memphis, he was shot at and this shot was fatal. At this moment, black America lost its most loyal defender, who dreamed of equality in the country and gave his own life for this. Since then, the third Monday in January is celebrated in the United States as Martin Luther King Day and is a national holiday.
Martin Luther the Younger business was continued by his wife Coretta Scott King. She continued her nonviolent resistance to segregation, discrimination, colonialism, racism, etc.