At the time of his death in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., the American Baptist pastor, humanitarian, activist, and leader, had a net worth of $250,000. (after adjusting for inflation). One of the most well-known figures of the civil rights movement in the middle of the 20th century, Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and activist. He led many marches for the rights of black people in the United States, and he is revered for his commitment to nonviolence and civil disobedience. In the years leading up to his death in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, King was an outspoken and productive activist.
Both the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference he helped create in 1957 were under King’s leadership. King also founded the SCLC and led it as its first president. When he was 19, he helped organise peaceful protests in Birmingham, Alabama that would go on to garner national notice and eventually grow into a movement. In 1963, he gave his now-famous “I Have a Dream” address during the March on Washington, which he helped organise. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to King in 1964. The Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965 were coordinated by him.
He received a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Congressional Gold Medal posthumously. In 1971, a holiday honouring Martin Luther King, Jr. was declared, and in 1986 it was made a legal holiday in the United States. Countless streets across the country have been named after him. In 2011, the nation’s Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial was opened and dedicated on the National Mall.
Martin Luther Early Life and Education
On January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, the second of Michael Sr., a civil rights leader and clergyman, and his wife Alberta gave birth to their second of three children, Martin Luther King Jr. Christine is his older sibling, while Alfred is his younger. As a young boy, King was compelled to enrol at the predominantly black Younge Street Elementary School. His father’s religious activity and his advocacy against segregation and other types of prejudice had a profound impact on him. The young Martin Luther King, Jr. had already remembered a number of hymns and Bible verses by the time he was five years old and was soon singing in the church’s junior choir. He began studying piano and violin at the Atlanta University Laboratory School when he was 12 years old.
King worked as an assistant manager at a newspaper distribution station when he was just 13 years old. Booker T. Washington High School was the only option for black students in the city, so he enrolled there as well. He joined the school’s debate squad after becoming well-known for his persuasive speech. A tobacco farm in Simsbury, Connecticut provided King with the funds he needed to attend the Historically Black College and University (Morehouse College). When he was in his first year, he was also on the football team. King decided to become a preacher at the age of 18 and apprenticed with Baptist clergyman Benjamin Mays. He continued his education and earned a BA in sociology from Morehouse in 1948.
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Martin Luther Personal Life and Legacy
While studying at Crozer Theological Seminary, King began dating the white daughter of a German immigrant. His friends cautioned him of the difficulties an interracial marriage would bring, and he abandoned his plans to marry her. While King was a student at BU, he met Coretta Scott through a mutual friend. It was love at first sight, and the couple tied the knot in 1953. They went on to have a family of four children: Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter, and Bernice.
King’s impact is still felt widely, not just in the United States but all across the world. His life and accomplishments are prominently featured in the educational curriculum, and numerous memorials have been erected in his honour. Two posthumous honours were bestowed upon King: the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2003. The third Monday of every January is designated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in America.
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Martin Luther King’s Quotes
- “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
2. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
3. “Intelligence plus character – that is the true goal of education.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
4. “A right delayed is a right denied.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
5. “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
6. “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
7. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?‘” – Martin Luther King Jr.
8. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
9. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
10. “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
11. “Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
12. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
13. “All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
14. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
15. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
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