Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Conclusion Dr. Mrtin Luther King Jr. was a great man. he dies in 1969, and by the time of his death, he had refocused on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. After his death, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986. If not for King, there would be no cival rights in America, and Aferican Americans would not be free.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Inspirations1)Thomas Carlyle. On more than one occasion, Dr. King said, “We shall overcome, because Carlyle is right, ‘No lie can live forever,’” as he did in March of 1968. Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish writer and historian during the Victorian era. After his first great work, Sartor Resartus, in which one man is followed on his own search for truth; Carlyle moved to history and wrote a book entitled The French Revolution. In this, Carlyle saw morality, truth, and justice in the great events in history. Dr. King is quoting this history book.2)William Cullen Bryant. In combination with his quote of Carlyle, King would add, “William Cullen Bryant is right: ‘Truth crushed to earth will rise again.’” Bryant was an American poet and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post. King here referred to his poem “The Battlefield,” which compares the lifelong struggle for truth to soldiers at war. The broader context, comparing truth to victory and error to defeat is: “Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again; the eternal years of God are hers; But Error, wounded, writhes in pain, and dies among his worshipers.”3)James Russell Lowell. Along with Carlyle and Bryant, King would add one final quotation to this section of his speech, and he did so here: “We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell is right: ‘Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne; Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.’” Both Lowell and Bryant were among the first American poets to rival their British counterparts in popularity. They belonged to a group we now call the Fireside Poets. This quotation is from “The Present Crisis,” Lowell’s 1845 work about the slavery crisis that inspired Dr. King and also was the inspiration for the NAACP’s main publication, The Crisis.4)John Donne. A few weeks before his March 31 speech, speaking at Grosse Point High School, Dr. King quoted Donne in saying, “‘No man is an island.’” Donne was an English poet who wrote around the turn of the 17th century. King explained the context, his inspiration: “The tide that fills every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. And [Donne] goes on toward the end to say, ‘any man’s death diminishes me because I’m involved in mankind. Therefore, it’s not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.’ Somehow we must come to see that in this pluralistic, interrelated society we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”5)Gandhi. Earlier, in a 1962 religious sermon in Los Angeles, King counseled against anger and hate, saying, “There is another way… as modern as Gandhi saying through Thoreau, that ‘non‑cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.’” King read the works of Gandhi and quoted him throughout his life. There is a direct line of the teachings of civil disobedience and peaceful demonstration from Dr. King through Gandhi and to numbers 6 and 7 on this list.6)Henry David Thoreau. The above quote is actually referencing Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, an essay by the Transcendentalist author, who wrote Walden but also, wrote this text on the obligation of the people to non-violently disobey laws they believe are unlawful. ”No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau,” King wrote in his autobiography.7)Leo Tolstoy. In his own writings, Dr. King pointed to the Russian writer as a primary source of his inspiration. King read Tolstoy and his religious texts, as well as War and Peace, as did Gandhi before him.8)Washington Irving. On March 31, the same day as his other speech, Dr. King also addressed an audience at the National Cathedral in Washington, saying: “The most striking thing about the story of Rip Van Winkle is not merely that Rip slept twenty years, but that he slept through a revolution.” ”Rip Van Winkle” is the famous story by the 19th century storyteller, Washington Irving, about a man who goes to sleep while King George III rules the colonies and wakes up in a new world where George Washington is President. King continued in this speech, “All too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.”9)Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The Carnegie Council describes an address that King gave a few months before his death to the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He said, “May it not be that the new man the world needs is the non-violent man? Longfellow said: ‘In this world a man must either be an anvil or the hammer.’ We must be hammers shaping a new society rather than anvils molded by the old.” Longfellow was also one of the Fireside Poets.10)Ralph Waldo Emerson. Also shortly before his death, in October of 1967, Dr. King spoke to students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia. He said, “Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great essayist, said in a lecture in 1871, ‘If a man can write a better book or preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, even if he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.’ This hasn’t always been true — but it will become increasingly true, and so I would urge you to study hard, to burn the midnight oil.” Emerson, like Thoreau, was a Transcendentalist author who was among the intellectual leaders of the movement. They opposed slavery and spoke out against it before the Civil War.

Introduction Martin Luther King, Jr. was an activist and a great leader in the African American civil rights movement. His goal was to have civil rights in the United States and he is known as a human rights icon today. King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott and he helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, being its first president. King's efforts led to the March on Washington, where King said his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he became known as one of the best civil rigts activists in U.S. history.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.By Zach Wyzykowski

Michael King, Jr. Born: January 15, 1929, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.Died: April 4, 1968 (aged 39), Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.Cause of death: AssassinationMonuments: Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

1. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t just become the leader of the civil right movement: He helped to start it. 2. In his efforts to fight segregation and inequality, King traveled more than six million miles and spoke more than 2,500 times. 3. He was a preacher, an orator, a community organizer—and a dad.

Alma mater: Morehouse College (B.A.), Crozer Theological Seminary (B.D.), Boston University (Ph.D.)Occupation: clergyman, activistOrganization: Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)Movement: African-American Civil Rights Movement, Peace movement

Religion: ChristianityDenomination: Baptist (Progressive National Baptist Convention)Spouse(s): Coretta Scott King (m. 1953–1968)Children: Yolanda Denise King (1955–2007), Martin Luther King III (b. 1957), Dexter Scott King (b. 1961), Bernice Albertine King (b. 1963)Parent(s): Martin Luther King, Sr, Alberta Williams King


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