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Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.

King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Reverend Martin Luther King, SR., and Alberta Williams King. Martin, Jr., was a middle child, between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King. King attended Booker T. Washington High School. At age 15 he was accepted into Morehouse College. in 1947, an eighteen-year-old King made the choice to enter the ministry after he concluded the church offered the most assuring way to answer “an inner urge to serve humanity”. King’s “inner urge” had begun developing and he made peace with the Baptist Church, as he believed he would be a “rational” minister with sermons that were “a respectful force for ideas, even social protest.”
In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a B.A. degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with a B.Div degree in 1951. King’s father fully supported his decision to continue his education.

King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.
On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and speak against the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. Allegations that James Earl Ray, the man convicted of killing King, had been framed or acted in concert with government agents persisted for decades after the shooting.martin luther king

King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011
To note: FBI director J. Edgar Hoover personally ordered surveillance of King, with the intent to undermine his power as a civil rights leader. According to the Church Committee, a 1975 investigation by the U.S. Congress, “From December 1963 until his death in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was the target of an intensive campaign by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to ‘neutralize’ him as an effective civil rights leader.”
THE SPEECH OF ALL SPEECHES:
17-minute speech, later known as “I Have a Dream”. In the speech’s most famous passage—in which he departed from his prepared text, possibly at the prompting of Mahalia Jackson, who shouted behind him, “Tell them about the dream!”—King said:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
He left behind his beautiful wife Coretta Scott King whom he wed in 1953 and his four children Dexter Scott King, Yland King, Beatrice King and Martin Luther King III.
Mrs. Coretta Scott King passed away on January 30, 2006. Dr. King and Corretta are both buried together in a mausoleum surrounded by water.

 

Martin_Luther_King_Jr_Coretta_Scott_King_Tomb laid to rest

EDUCATION:
Washington High School
Boston University 1957-1955
Crozer Theological Seminary 1948-1951
Morehouse College 1944-1948

ESTABLISHMENTS:
Dr. Martin Luther King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Council (S.C.L.C.) in 1957.

Memorials and eponymous places and buildings

Martin Luther King Jr. Street at Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem, Israel

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Yerba Buena Gardens
There are numerous memorials to King in the United States, including:
More than 730 cities in the United States have streets named after King
King County, Washington, rededicated its name in his honor in 1986, and changed its logo to an image of his face in 2007.
The city government center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is named in honor of King.
In 1980, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated King’s boyhood home in Atlanta and several nearby buildings the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.
A bust of King was added to the “gallery of notables” in the United States Capitol in 1986, portraying him in a “restful, nonspeaking pose.”
The beginning words of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech are etched on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, at the place where King stood during that speech. These words from the speech—”five short lines of text carved into the granite on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial”—were etched in 2003, on the 40th anniversary of the march to Washington, by stone carver Andy Del Gallo, after a law was passed by Congress providing authorization for the inscription.
In 1996, Congress authorized the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, of which King is still a member, to establish a foundation to manage fund raising and design of a national Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.] King was the first African American and the fourth non-president honored with his own memorial in the National Mall area. The memorial opened in August 2011 and is administered by the National Park Service.The address of the monument, 1964 Independence Avenue, S.W., commemorates the year that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law.
The Landmark for Peace Memorial in Indianapolis, Indiana
The Homage to King sculpture in Atlanta, Georgia
The Dream sculpture in Portland, Oregon
The National Civil Rights Museum, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where King died
Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, Alabama
Numerous other memorials honor him around the world, including:
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Church in Debrecen, Hungary
The King-Luthuli Transformation Center in Johannesburg, South Africa
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Forest in Israel’s Southern Galilee region (along with the Coretta Scott King Forest in Biriya Forest, Israel)
The Martin Luther King, Jr. School in Accra, Ghana
The Gandhi-King Plaza (garden), at the India International Center in New Delhi, India
Awards:
King was awarded at least fifty honorary degrees from colleges and universities
Nobel Peace Prize – the youngest to ever received this recognition in 1964
Time Person of the Year Award
in 1966, King was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album in 1971 for his Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam
Congressional Gold Medal
Jawaharlal Nehru Award for international Understanding
In 1957, he was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP
In 1966, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America awarded King the Margaret Sanger Award for “his courageous resistance to bigotry and his lifelong dedication to the advancement of social justice and human dignity”
In November 1967 he made a 24 hour trip to the United Kingdom to receive an honorary degree from Newcastle University, being the first African American to be so honoured by Newcastle
Anifield Wolf Book Awards
awarded the American Liberties Medallion by the American Jewish Committee for his “exceptional advancement of the principles of human liberty
Liturgical commemorations
King is remembered as a martyr by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America with an annual feast day on the anniversary of his death, April 4. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America commemorates King liturgically on the anniversary of his birth, January 15.
UK legacy and The Martin Luther King Peace Committee
In the United Kingdom, The Northumbria and Newcastle Universities Martin Luther King Peace Committee exists to honour King’s legacy, as represented by his final visit to the UK to receive an honorary degree from Newcastle University in 1967. The Peace Committee operates out of the chaplaincies of the city’s two universities, Northumbria and Newcastle, both of which remain centers for the study of Martin Luther King and the US Civil Rights Movement. Inspired by King’s vision, it undertakes a range of activities across the UK as it seeks to “build cultures of peace.”
In 1977, the Presidential Medal of Freedom was posthumously awarded to King by President Jimmy Carter. The citation read:
Martin Luther King, Jr., was the conscience of his generation. He gazed upon the great wall of segregation and saw that the power of love could bring it down. From the pain and exhaustion of his fight to fulfill the promises of our founding fathers for our humblest citizens, he wrung his eloquent statement of his dream for America. He made our nation stronger because he made it better. His dream sustains us yet
QUOTES.

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

 

 

Education:

Washington High School

Boston University 1957-1955

Crozer Theological Seminary 1948-1951

Morehouse College 1944-1948

Establishments:

Dr. Martin Luther King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Council (S.C.L.C.) in 1957.

 

 

Places of monuments and learning

Martin Luther King Center-Dallas Museum

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott King monument, Allentown, PA,

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monument, City Park, Denver, CO

 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Monument Washington DC,

Dr. Martin Luther King Learning Centers in various states across the US.

 

Awards:

Nobel Peace Prize

Time Person of the Year Award

Presidential Medla of  Freedom

Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album

Congressional Gold Medal

Jawaharlal Nehru Award for international Understanding

Spingarn Medal

Margaret Sanger Award

Anifield Wolf Book Awards

 

THE FBI AND DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING

After he was murdered the F.B.I.’s that followed him since 1957 had always had a  campaign against him and his legacy. In 1969, the F.B.I. “furnished ammunition to conservatives to attack King’s memory, and… tried to block efforts to honor the slain leader BUT they never succeeded. He is honored and given now the national legal holiday.

Quotes.

 

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

 

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

 

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

 

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

 

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

 

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

 

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

 

“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.

 

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

 

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from “Loving Your Enemies”)”

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

 

 

 

References:

Dr. Martin Luther King Bioigraphy

The COINTELPRO Papers pg 94-113

Wikipidia

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