When addressing human rights activists, one cannot forget Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was one of the most influential human rights activists in the United States of America during the 1950s and 1960s. Martin Luther King died while attempting to better the living conditions of African Americans. Because of his efforts, human rights prevail in the present day (Rubinowitz 494). He is commonly honored in the African American community and in the United States by commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on January 15th. The Martin Luther King Day was made a holiday for the first time in 1986 which marked as a memorial day of one of the best leaders of in the world (Rubinowitz 494). This paper will expound more on the life of Martin Luther King Jr by discussing his early life, career and adult life till his death.
Martin Luther was born in the city of Atlanta Georgia in 1929 the fifteenth day of January. Fifteenth years down the line King graduated from Booker T. Washington high school. His high grades in the 9th and 12th grade granted him a chance at Morehouse College without graduating from high school officially. In 1948 Martin Luther King graduated with a BA degree in Sociology from Morehouse College. Later in 1951, he graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary with a Bachelor’s degree in Divinity (Andrews and Peter 62).Immediately after graduating from Crozer Theological Seminary he joined Boston University. He graduated with a Ph.D. on 5th June 1955.
Following in their father’s footstep is every son’s dream. Likewise, Martin Luther King followed in his father’s footsteps who was a human rights activists and a Baptist church priest. He became the chief priest of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1954 (Andrews and Peter 62). During the entire period of his profession as a preacher, he frequently wrote and spoke publicly. He was elected the president of Montgomery Improvement Association. His first encounter as an activist occurred when an elderly lady Rose Park was detained for not letting a white passenger take her seat on a bus. He encouraged other African American to boycott the segregating buses too. It marked the beginning of his great leadership (Andrews and Peter 62).
King advocated for non-violent actions against segregation by advising his fellow African Americans to show solidarity and stand up for their people (Morris and Matthew 13). These operations involved forming various organizations. “ The Southern Christian Management Conference” is one of the organizations that gave him the chance to hunt other civil rights activities. On one of his speeches, he set a target of not resting until the people of his ethical group are free from segregation. This simply meant that only the freedom of his people would give him a rest (Andrews and Peter 63).
In 1953 Martin Luther King became married to Coretta Scott while still at Boston University. All through their marriage, they had four children. By the time he was advancing from the University, he had become a great human rights activist. His entire life he dedicated it to eliminating discrimination and segregation of the Black community (Rubinowitz 494). After the boycott of the bus transportation, aggressive whites made an attempt of killing him by throwing a bomb at his compound twice in 1956. King published a book “Strides Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story.” King became an assistant pastor in his father’s old church and moved with his family to Atlanta the location of the church. However, Martin Luther King was convicted for leading a protest in Albany (Rubinowitz 494).
During this period he made a speech at that was aspirational to all the African Americans. The speech “I Have a Dream” portrays him as a compelling speaker who had the ability to mobilize people and organize nonviolent riots (Morris and Matthew 10). He together with other African American leaders created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in a bid to strengthen the fight against violence and encouraged nonviolent protests. These protesters in the south were scattered by police who used to brutal force and dogs. This violence was broadcasted live on televisions across the nation. Following this events, President Kennedy proposed a bill that saw the laws of segregation withdrawn (Rubinowitz 494).
Martin Luther King died on 4th of April 1968 after he was shot while giving the speech “I’ve been to the Mountaintops” in Memphis Tennessee. James Earl Ray assassinated Mr. King and was sentenced to only nine years in prison (Morris and Matthew 13).
Martin Luther King will never be forgotten. The civil right Laws are as a result of his effort, and he made history by fighting courageously against the segregation laws until they were withdrawn. The determination, courage, loyalty both to his work and people, the trust and more so the intelligence he showed in making the ethical decision of nonviolence protests. Throughout his entire life, he revealed that he is a kind of man that was ready to die for the greater good. That why to this day Martin Luther King is commemorated on his birthday 4th January by everyone in the United States of America.
Andrews, Peter. “Flowers, Arthur & Chitrakar, Manu: I See the Promised Land: A Lifetime of Martin Luther King Jr.” School Librarian 62.1 (2014): 62-63.
Morris, Matthew. “Rhetorical Examination of “The Drum Major Instinct”: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Governance.” Young Scholars In Writing 12 (2015): 4-14.
Rubinowitz, Leonard S., Michelle Shaw, and Michal Crowder. “A” Notorious Litigant” and” Frequenter of Jails”: Martin Luther King, Jr., His Lawyers, and the Legal System.” Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy 10.3 (2016): 494.