Martin Luther King Jr. is famous as a social activist and Baptist minister, who led the Civil Rights Movement in the USA from mid-1950 to 1968.
Martin Jr. was born as Michael King Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929 to Michael King Sr., pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Alberta Williams King. Michael King Sr. adopted the name Martin Luther King in honour of Martin Luther, a German Protestant religious leader, during his trip to Berlin in Germany in 1934 to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress. Michael Jr. had to face racism since his childhood. The fight of Martin Luther King Sr. against racial prejudice had a lasting impression on young Michael. At the age of 5 Michael Jr. was admitted to public school. Martin Luther King Jr. decided to enter the ministry in 1947 at the age of 18 after he realised that the church offered the most satisfying answer to "an inner urge to serve humanity". He was ordained as a minister in February 1948, after his first sermon at the podium of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Michael Jr. completed his graduation from Morehouse College in 1948 and from Crozer Theological Seminary in the year 1951. Michael Jr. earned a doctoral degree in systematic theology in the year 1955 from Boston University. He married Coretta Scott in 1953, whom he met in Boston.
Works and achievements
Martin Luther King Jr. spearheaded the black boycott of segregated city bus lines (1955-56). As a result of his effort, Montgomery buses started to operate on a desegregated basis in 1956. He made him famous as a civil-rights leader among the people. In 1957 Martin Jr. established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which is an organization of black churches and ministers that wanted to challenge racial discrimination. Martin Jr. along with other SCLC leaders encouraged the use of non-violent demonstrations, marches and boycotts to protest against racial discrimination. His 1963 March on Washington streets for civil rights and jobs, gathered more than 200,000 supporters. It was here when Martin Jr. delivered his famous speech "I Have a Dream". Martin Jr. was honoured with several prestigious awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, for his immense contribution to mankind.
Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis in Tennessee in the spring of 1968 to support the strike of the black garbage workers. Here he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Martin Luther Jr. will be remembered in history as an important advocate of non-violent protest and a great African-American leader of the civil rights movement in the United States of America.