Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929. He was assassinated in April 4, 1968. He is a US leader of African origin and humanist and political activist. As Keith described in his book that the King started slowly and when his voice became stronger, people started to listen to him carefully. Notably, he was at the center stage in terms of ending extensive discrimination against blacks in 1964. Accordingly, he also boasts of a legacy as one of the youngest winners of the Nobel Prize. Martin Luther King is one of the most important individuals in the fight for equality and the rights of everyone. Luther founded the southern Christian leadership of movement aimed to obtain civil rights for American Negroes to equality. He has fallen victim to his case. King rejected of violence in all its types. He was his own best example his comrades many of those who were involved in the struggle of blacks during his patience and kindness, wisdom, and reservation they did not even supported the leaders of the black fighter and began to challenge him in 1965. In this paper, I will discuss Martin Luther King’s childhood and education, his family life, and his last years and his death.
Childhood and Education
Martin Luther King Jr’s was initially referred to as Michael King, a similar name that his father used. However, his father changed his name from Michael King to Martin Luther King in 1934, after attending the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin, Germany. During his childhood, Martin Luther King, Jr was a victim of heavy punishment from his father, as he wanted him to succeed in his life. He also had the opportunity to experience his father’s regular protests against segregation. For instance, he experienced his father’s brave rejection of a traffic officer’s orders when he called him ‘boy’. In the course of his childhood, Martin Luther King, Jr had the opportunity to become friends with a white lad in the neighborhood where the father operated a business. At the age of 6 years, he attended a different school from his friend. This is especially because he was forced to attend an isolated school made up of African Americans and this cost him his early childhood friendship, as the white child’s father restricted them from playing together.
His early childhood life was characterized by depression and he resented whites because of the demeaning racial humiliation they were causing African Americans. When he was 12 years old, he blamed himself for his grandmother’s death and tried to commit suicide by throwing himself out from a window, which he fortunately survived. In the course of his growth as a child, he had numerous reservations about different Christianity beliefs. For instance, when he was 13 years during his Sunday school, he did not believe that Jesus resurrected. Nevertheless, he gradually accepted the teachings of the Bible and subsequently joined the seminary.
He lived in Atlanta where he took his high school studies at Booker T. Washington School. At the school, he quickly gained popularity for his perfect public speaking attributes and the participation in numerous debates. This propelled to the position of an assistant manager in 1942 at the age of 13 in a newspaper delivery station. He secured an award in an oratorical contest courtesy of a Dublin based club called Negro Elks Club in recognition of his excellent speech. On his way home back to Atlanta with his teacher, the bus driver ordered them to stand to pave way for white passengers to sit. Accordingly, Martin Luther King, Jr resisted this order, and only complied after his teacher intervened telling him that it was against the law to resist such orders. He categorized this situation, as the most annoying and humiliating moment in his life. With his consistent success in school, he skipped his freshman year as well as the twelfth grade in high school. However, he continued with his studies at the age of 15 years when he passed the entrance exam for Morehouse College. During his final year at the college in 1947, when he was aged 18 years, he decided to join the ministry driven by his strong belief that the church was the only platform he could serve humanity effectively.
Accordingly, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the Morehouse College in 1948. After successfully completing this, he moved to Chester, Pennsylvania where he joined the Crozer Theological Seminary and four years later, he successfully earned a B. Div degree. He gained the full support of his father as he joined the Crozer seminary, and he served at the capacity of overall student’s body. He also actively joined fellow black students on the streets where they engaged in various social activities.
He furthered his education by pursuing doctoral studies in systematic theology at the Boston University and graduated in 1955. However there was controversy about his dissertation titled “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman”, as it academic inquiry committee in 1991 established that some of its parts were poorly referenced hence leading to plagiarism.
King was born of a father called Reverend Martin Luther King, Sir and a mother called Alberta Williams King. He was a second born, between the first born daughter Willie Christine King and a younger brother Alfred Daniel Williams King.
Grandparents on the maternal side were the Reverend Adam Daniel Williams and Jenny Parks Williams while those from the paternal side were James Albert and Delia King.
He wedded his suitor Coretta Scott in 1953. Coretta, a daughter to Obadiah and Bernice McMurry Scott hailed from Marion, Alabama. The marriage service was conducted by Reverend Martin Luther King. King Jr was had three children together with his wife. His children include Yolanda Denise born in 1955. In 1957, Martin Luther III was born and four years later, her wife delivered of Dexter Scott followed closely by Bernice Albertine who was born in 1963. In the course of their marriage life, Martin Luther King, Jr restricted his wife’s participation in the civil liberties group where he wanted her to be more of a wife and a mother to their children.
Last Years and His Death
King’s last years were characterized by active participation in activism. For instance, in 1965 he tried to organize the public to march to the state’s capital, but this aborted because of the brutality of the police against demonstrators. This was later referred to as the ‘Bloody Sunday’ because of the high level of police brutality against demonstrators. He had not directly participated in the demonstration directly, but intervened in the matter to ensure that demonstrators were not punished for their activities. He had been restricted by his duties in the church. However, he held a successful march on March 25, 1965 to the state capital and delivered speech titled “How Long, Not Long”, which emphasized the need to secure the rights of African Americans as fast as possible.
In 1966, King together with his colleagues focused on expanding their civil rights ideas to Chicago where they did this by empathizing with the poor. They ultimately worked in tandem with locals from the area and came up with the Chicago Freedom Movement, which played an important role in the defense of the rights of African Americans.
In 1967, he stood against America’s involvement in Vietnam War by participating in the anti-war match from New York Central Park to the United Nations. The demonstration was organized by the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. He delivered a strong speech on the need to maintain peace and the civil rights of the people.
In March 1968, he went to Memphis, Tennessee, to support the demonstrations by black sanitary works employees. They were in need of increased wages, and he was focused on ensuring that they received this at the end of the day. On April 3, 1968, he delivered his speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” where he talked about threats to his life and his strength to stand against any form of discrimination and threats.
His assassination occurred in April 4, 1968 when he was on a balcony of a motel.
In conclusion, Martin Luther King, Jr’s childhood and education played a key role in influencing his future participation in the defense of the rights of African Americans. For instance, the extensive level of discrimination he faced as a child motivated him toward this journey. More so, his education that set him on the path of Christianity gave him the opportunity to fight for the equality and rights of everyone. However, his life was terminated on March 4, 1968 through an assassination. Despite this, his legacy will leave on forever as a promoter of non-violence and individual’s rights.