MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

   Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist, skilled orator and a leader.

   He was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. Martin L. King received good education and after graduating from college, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and to become a preacher.

   The beginning of his non-violent protests can be traced back to the day when the courageous Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white person. That historical event took place on December 1, 1955 and initiated an almost a year-long series of protests led by the humanitarian Martin Luther King. These peaceful demonstrations were named the Montgomery Bus Boycott. During the 50s and the 60s in the USA the so-called racial segregation was legal. Black people had to attend separate schools, restaurants, public service offices, etc. When using the public transport, they were obliged to give up their seats to white people. By not standing up and leaving her bus seat, Rosa Parks started a civil disobedience and raised the question of the unjust inequality.

   Martin Luther King was determined to put an end to segregation and racial discrimination. He organized plenty of protests and didn’t stop his great work even when his house was bombed.

  His leadership was growing and his movement got about 250 000 followers who participated in the famous mass demonstration called “the March on Washington”. It was one of the biggest civil rights protests attempting to change the US legislation and fight for equality. The year was 1963 and Martin Luther King delivered his unforgettable speech “I Have A Dream”. The demonstration was successful and a year later a Civil Rights Act was passed. The same year Martin L. King was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and by recieving it, he became the youngest person ever to be nominated and win it.

   Unfortunately, in the year of 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis on the balcony of his hotel room. Although he died young, at the age of 39, he accomplished a lot. He was inspired by Gandhi’s non-violent manner of protesting, he opposed segregation, he dreamt and made people dream! As he says in his speech he only wanted a peaceful society where people are colour blind and live together as equals. 

GALLERY

GLOSSARY

skilled – trained, capable

follow in his father’s footsteps – to do the same thing as someone else; in this case his father

preacher – priest

trace back – to define the beginning of something

segregation – the action of setting some people apart from others

to be obliged to – to be required to do something

speech – a formal address or discourse delivered to an audience

 

 

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