Martin Luther King Jr.

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by LoriV
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
Historical biographies
Grade:
6

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Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Hi! I am Coretta Scott King, Martin's wife.

I am E.D. Nixon. I knew Martin from the bus boycott.

I am Rosa Parks. I knew Martin from the bus boycott.

BackgroundMartin was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. His legal name at birth was Michael King! He was a middle child, between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King.He sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind. He liked singing and music. He said his father regularly whipped him until he was fifteen and a neighbor reported hearing the elder King telling his son "he would make something of him even if he had to beat him to death." He suffered from depression throughout much of his life. As a kid, he felt some resentment against whites because of "racial humiliation" that he suffered. At age 12, after his grandmother died, he blamed himself and jumped out of a second story window, but survived.Martin was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. His legal name at birth was Michael King! He was a middle child, between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King.He sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind. He liked singing and music. He said his father regularly whipped him until he was fifteen and a neighbor reported hearing the elder King telling his son "he would make something of him even if he had to beat him to death." He suffered from depression throughout much of his life. As a kid, he felt some resentment against whites because of "racial humiliation" that he suffered. At age 12, after his grandmother died, he blamed himself and jumped out of a second story window, but survived.

Discrimination Martin Luther King Jr. suffered discrimination. When he was young, he was friends with a white boy. When the boys were 6, they attended different schools (Martin attended a school for African-Americans). Martin lost his friend because the friend’s dad no longer wanted them to play together. As an adult he suffered arrest, physical assaults, personal abuse of all kinds and his home was bombed. He even died because of discrimination. On April 4, 1968, when he was standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, Martin was assassinated by James Earl Ray, a white supremacist with a long criminal record. Martin knew what being discriminated felt like.

ContributionsMartin contributed greatly to the Civil RIghts Movement. He led the bus boycott in 1955. He helped form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 which was an organization that worked for civil rights. He was the leader of the entire civil rights movement in the 1960s that called for working out conflicts with kindness and love. He fought for and achieved mandatory equal voting rights in America for blacks and whites. He led lunch counter sit-ins where he and other blacks and whites demanded equal treatment in restaurants for people of all races. His nonviolent peaceful demonstrations proved to the world that action without violence can be effective and successful.

Intersting FactsMartin was a very interesting person. He was very smart. He only attended two years of high school, skipping ninth and twelfth grade, and then went to Morehouse College at age 15. He has more than 900 streets named after him. When he married his wife Coretta, their honeymoon left a lot to be desired. Since they could not stay at a white-owned hotel, the newlyweds bunked up at a black owned funeral home on their wedding night. He was the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He received the award at age 35 in 1964 and donated the $54,000 he received to a civil rights cause. About 10 years before his death, King had another assassination attempt on his life. At a book signing in 1958, a woman named Izola Ware Curry stabbed him in his chest with a letter opener. Martin had many crazy things happen to him.

SummaryMartin Luther King, Jr. became the main leader in the Civil Rights Movement to end racial segregation and discrimination in America during the 1950s and 1960s. He was the leading spokesperson for nonviolent methods, like sit-ins and bus boycotts, for social change. His speaking ability, along with an incredible determination to establish equality among all races, despite personal risk, won him a world-wide following and a national holiday. We owe him a debt of gratitude for racial and gender equality today.


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