Education & Family
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 distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class. Then in 1955 he was awarded with a Doctorate degree at the Boston University. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. They were blessed with two sons and two daughters.
When Martin Luther King, Jr., was a child, several white neighbors refused to let him play with their children because he was African American. The discrimination he repeatedly experienced in his youth inspired Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak out against injustice. On December 1, 1955, a woman named Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat to a white person. She was arrested and put in jail. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. helped organize community members to boycott the Montgomery bus system.Thousands of people refused to ride the bus and crippled the finances of the Montgomery bus system, whose ridership was mostly African American.
King emerged as a leader who fought for equal rights in a peaceful, non-violent way. He was influenced by the works of Mahatma Gandhi, who used non-violent acts of civil disobedience to bring social justice. In 1963, Dr. King also helped organize the March in Washington DC for Jobs and Freedom. Hundreds of thousands of people from different cultures gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall. There Dr. King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Dr. King was arrested several times for protesting, and several threats had been made on his life. Still, he stood up for his beliefs and organized protests and spoke at rallies. At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. He is an inspiration to millions for his determination, hard work and vision.
Pastor: A minister in charge of a Christian church or congregation.
Assassinated: Murder (an important person) in a surprise attack for political or religious reasons.
Segregated: Set apart from the rest or from each other; isolate or divide.
Discrimination: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
Boycott: Withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.
Civil Disobedience: The refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.