Biography of Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Biography and Research Paper

In his life, Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished many amazing things for the African-Americans in the United States and all over the world. He helped spread freedom and democracy throughout the world, even though he primarily concentrated on the well-being of the United States. Through all of the tough decisions he had to make, and all of the situations he had to overcome, Dr. King stuck to his morals and ethics.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born January 15, 1929 into a middle class family in Atlanta Georgia. He was the son of a minister and was very intelligent. He entered high school at age 13.

In the 11th grade, he entered an oratorical contest sponsored by the Negro Elks in a distant Georgia town. Martin jr. spoke on "The Negro and the Constitution" and one a prize for his speech. On the way back to Atlanta, he and his teacher reviewed the exciting events of the day. Presently the bus stopped and some whites got on. There were no seats left so the bus driver ordered Martin and his teacher to get up and stand. King refused to budge. The driver threatened him and called him a "black son-of-a-bitch," until at last he heeded his teacher's whispers and he got out of his seat. For the rest of the trip home, he and his teacher were jostled around as the bus traveled down the highway. King later said, "It was the angriest I have ever been in my life."

After the 11th grade, King left high school and went to Morehouse college which was accepting exceptional high school juniors to fill its depleted ranks because of the world war. He was only 15 when he enrolled. King graduated in the spring of 1948 at age 19. He elected to then attend the Crozer Seminary in Pennsylvania. After four years at Crozer, he decide to attend the prestigious School of Theology at Boston University. It was here that King would get his PhD., meet his future wife, Corretta Scott, and learn the ways of Ghandi.

Martin read all that he could about Ghandi and he was very impressed by Ghandi's ways and his success. Ghandi believed in peaceful protest and Dr. King also though that this would be effective. After receiving his PhD, many churches expressed interest in having Dr. King become their head minister.

Dr. King became the head minister of a church in montogmery Alabama and achieved national fame for leading the famous bus boycott. Dr. King quickly became a respected national figure. People started to realize that the young Dr. King had something about him, something that made him very special.

After the bus boycott of Montgomery, Dr. King went on to help the African-Americans in our nation. He led protests, gave speeches, and managed to raise a family along the way. Throughout all of this, Dr. King had to make many tough decisions and I would have to say that all of his decisions were the correct decisions. A very clear example of his ethics came in May of 1963. After his the movement for freedom in Birmingham Alabama had been stalled, Dr. King needed ideas to keep the movement going. One of his advisors told him that there were more than a thousand school-age children that wanted, even begged to march. Dr. King was racked in indecision, if he let them march, they could be hurt, or worse, but children marching for freedom could "subpoena the conscience of the nation." The cold truth was that African-American children were maimed every day of their lives, emotionally, every day of their lives while the South stayed segregated. Dr. King decided to let the children march. This decision would save the movement in Birmingham.

On May 2, 1963 more than 1000 excited youngsters, some only 6 years old took the streets of Birmingham by storm. The incensed sheriff, Bull Connor, a radical segragationalist, retorted by arresting more than 900 of the marching children.

The next day, 2,500 youngsters turned out to march for freedom. The children came into town shouting "we want freedom!" When the marchers refused to turn back, Bull Connor shouted "Let 'em have it!". With scores of reporters and TV cameramen recording what happened next, the firemen turned their hoses on the defenseless children. The extreme force of the water ripped their clothing, smashed them into buildings, and knocked them over, eventually pushing their bloodied, helpless bodies into the park. Bull Connor then unleashed dogs, they rushed at the protesters, lunging wildly at fleeing children, three were severely injured as a result of being bitten by the rampid dogs. The protesters ran for their lives while Bull Connor sneered, "Look at those niggers run." One reporter sarcastically summed it up by saying, "God bless America." As it turns out, these actions saved the movement in birmingham.

As you can see, Dr. King made a very tough decision here but it proved to be a good one. Dr. King devoted his life to his people until he was assinated in 1968. His ethics lay in hard work, dedication to a cause, peaceful protest, and the freedom of all.

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