Martin Luther King Jr.

“I have a dream that my four little children
will one day live in a nation where they will
not be judged by the color of their skin but
by the content of their character…”
----Martin Luther King
Aug. 28th, 1963
Early Life
He was born as Michael Luther King, Jr., but
later changed his name to Martin.
He came from a family of pastors of the
Ebenezer Baptist church.
Martin Luther attended segregated public
schools in Georgia, graduating from high school
at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A.
degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a
school where both his father and grandfather
graduated from.
With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in
graduate studies at Boston University,
completing his residence for the doctorate in
1953 and receiving the degree in 1955.
In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a
young woman of uncommon intellectual and
artistic attainments. Two sons and two
daughters were born into the family.
His Death
• At 6:01 p.m. on April 4, 1968, a shot
rang out. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
who had been standing on the
balcony of his room at the Lorraine
Motel in Memphis, TN, had a gaping
wound that covered a large portion
of his jaw and neck.
• A great man who had spent thirteen
years of his life dedicating himself to
nonviolent protest had been
defeated by a sniper's bullet.
Gandhi's Influence
How it Influenced Him?
Henry David Thoreau
Wrote a paper on Civil
Disobedience . He argued
that People should not allow
governments to overrule,
what they think is right
(Morals). People must avoid
acquiescence (not objecting
when their rights are infringed
on) as it allows the
government to use them for
further injustice.
First Contact with NonViolent Resistance. Martin
Luther was so fascinated
with the idea of refusing to
cooperate with the with a
corrupted system. He took
from Thoreau’s writing that
not cooperating with evil, is
a moral obligation.
Mohandas Ghandi
Lead India to Independence “I am more convinced than
through the philosophy
ever before that the method
of “Peaceful Resistance”.
of nonviolent resistance is
the most potent weapon
available to oppressed
people in their struggle for
justice and human dignity”
The Montgomery Bus Boycott
-After Rosa Parks’ arrest, Jo Ann Robinson, head of
the Women’s Political Council issued a flyer
throughout black community acknowledging Parks’
-the article continued to state that 3/4 of bus riders
are black, therefore buses cannot run if they do not
use public buses
- encouraged all black to stay off the buses the
following Monday, and agreed that the bus boycott
would continue
The Montgomery Bus Boycott
- King investigated the case where
15 year old Claudette Colvin
refused to give up her seat on the
bus <-- this occurred before Rosa
Parks' arrest
-Montgomery buss Boycott was
planned by Edgar Nixon and led by
-boycott lasted a total of 385 days
-King was arrested during the
boycott, and led to a court ruling
which ended racial segregation on
Poor People's Campaign
• along with the Southern
Leadership Conference, King
organized the Poor People's
– focused on economic
– housing the poor
– rebuilding America's cities
from the recession
• Known as part of the second
phase of the civil right’s
• Helped all poor people, not just
blacks, though majority of the
people living in poverty were
(November 27, 1967)
Poor People's Campaign (November 27, 1967)
• King pointed out that the
congress gave "military funds
with alacrity and generosity,"
but provided "poverty funds with
•Under an “Economic Bill of
Rights”, poor people would be
supported with a $30 million
anti-poverty package.
•King was assassinated before
the end of the campaign. Other
leaders decided to continue it in
his honour, but the Economic
Bill of Rights was never passed
March On Washington
•The March on Washington was
for Jobs and Freedom
• it took place in Washington, D.C.,
on August 28, 1963.
• the amount of people attended
were 250,000 people, it was the
largest demonstration ever seen in
the nation's capital, and one of the
first to have extensive television
• Maritain Luther King present his
"I Have a Dream" speech
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the
most famous civil rights activists in
American history, because…
• Besides leading the Montgomery
Bus Boycott and the Poor People’s
Campaign, he instilled the dream of
racial equality into African Americans
by delivering the famous “I Have A
Dream” speech.
• He supported the Civil Rights
Movement in many other ways,
devoting his life into fighting for
• American version of Gandhi.

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