Martin Luther King Essay

682 words - 3 pages

Martin Luther King (1929-1968)Luther was born in Atlanta USA, where he studied to be a church minister like his father and to preach at his fathers church. He leaves to study at Boston University where he received a doctorate in theology. In 1954 he became minister in his own town of Montgomery in the Southern State of Alabama.At that time black people were treated badly and Alabama was the worst: they had to attend different schools and even had to sit on different parts of the bus. There was even a white organisation called the Ku Klux Klan who hunted down black people. They wore white cloaks and pointy white hoods.In 1956 a black woman refused to give her seat to a white person and she was arrested later on that year. Black people then refused to go on buses as a form of non-violent protest lead by Luther. ...view middle of the document...

But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice".The authorities then fought back and put Luther in jail. There he wrote a letter which said "You may well ask: Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path? You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Non-violent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatise the issue that it can no longer be ignored . . .. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed".Luther King was soon released from jail and gathered a huge support from the Black community. Then in 1963 at the anti-segregation meeting called "The Great March on Washington" Luther made his greatest speech ever. He said:"I have a dream that one day the nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former owners slaves and sons of slave owners will be able to sit down at the table of brother hood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi will be turned into an oasis of freedom and justice."The crowd roared as he finished his speech. Luther was later pronounced the unofficial "president of black America".In 1964, 2nd July president Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Later in that year Luther was awarded with Nobel Peace Prize.Luther turned his attention to poverty among blacks and racial discrimination in housing. In 1968, 4th April Luther was shot by a white sniper's bullet in Memphis, Tennessee. He had 39 years of age.

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