A Brief History of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was, and continues to be, a great inspiration in the fight for civil rights. The audio of MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech remains one of the most moving and powerful speeches ever presented. Here is a brief look into the life of a man who would become one of the most famous civil right’s leaders of all time.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. Hailing from Georgia, King had a long history of Baptist ministers in his family. His family life was comfortable and loving, but Martin was exposed to racism despite all that. His father, Martin Luther King Sr., fought against racism, instilling these strong beliefs into his son very early on.

King then went on to go to college in 1948 and earned a sociology degree. He was a very good student and constantly at the top of his class. It was here he become more spiritually aware, and began to believe Christianity could be used to inflict positive social changes on the world.

King’s first entrance into the spotlight came because of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He soon became a figurehead and powerful speaker for the injustice and cruelty facing black people during this time. King would go on to speak at over 2500 events and deliver around 450 speeches per year. His powerful and passionate words paved the way for great change in America.

His most famous speech was delivered in the summer of 1963. The “I Have A Dream” speech was King’s attempt to get Washington to really listen. And, even if in the end it did not have his immediate, desired effect, it has stood the test of time through video, audio and written accounts of that momentous day.

On April 4th, 1968, King was assassinated while standing on his balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The shooter, James Earl Ray, eluded police for two months before he was captured. He was tried and eventually sentenced to 99 years in prison.

Although King’s life was suddenly taken from him, his words never left the hearts of the American people. His speeches continue to inspire every leader and follower of civil rights.
For more info on King and his legacy, please visit kingprogram.net

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