Martin Luther King

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Martin Luther King
Childhood, youth Minister in Protest and publicity. Disillusionment.
and education. Montgomery.
1929 ­ Born in Atlanta, Initially, King rejected a As few blacks were Increasingly pessimistic,
Georgia. Born into a church career, believing registered to vote in the King concluded he had
well-educated and the church concentrated segregated South, they overestimated the
relatively prosperous on life more in the next lacked the political success of 1955-65.
family that gained world instead of power to change the
strength from the working to improve life situation. He said the `vast
church and NAACP. in this world. majority' of whites were
King therefore became racist, `hypocritical', and
His grandfather and However, he felt called increasingly involved in had committed a kind of
father were pastors of a by God and became a demonstrations to draw `psychological and
Baptist church in pastor of the `rich folks' attention to black spiritual genocide'
Atlanta, Georgia, and church' in Montgomery, problems. against blacks.
NAACP activists. Alabama.
He wanted King also said he felt he
As a small child, King 1954 ­ Pastor of Dexter demonstrations to be had underestimated
had a white friend. The Avenue Baptist Church, peaceful and black rage. He was
white's dad demanded Montgomery, Alabama. non-violent but was exasperated by militant
he play with him no frequently arrested racists such as Stokely
longer ­ this is what first King urged his while participating in Carmichael.
made him aware of the congregation to them.
existence of a race register to vote and join `Many people who
problem. the NAACP. The resultant publicity would otherwise be
drew national and ashamed of their
1944 ­ 8 ­ Studied at 1955 ­ Headed international attention anti-Negro feeling now
Morehouse College, Montgomery to black problems and have an excuse.'
Atlanta; ordained as a Improvement helped to procure on However, `Stokely is not
minister. Association during Bus the problems of the problem. The
Boycott. Northern black ghettos: problem is white people
1948-51 ­ Attended one hot July weekend in and their attitude.'
Crozer Theological His involvement in the Chicago in 1965, he
Seminary in 1956 black boycott of made 20 speeches in Whites and blacks
Pennsylvania. Montgomery's less than 48 hours. became increasingly
segregated buses critical of him. When he
1951 ­ 4 ­ Doctorate at resulted in many threats The workload, the toured riot-stricken
Boston University's on his life and family. constant fear for his life, Cleveland, Ohio, black
School of Theology; His family urged him to the slow rate of teenagers mocked and
Married Coretta Scott. give up activism. progress, ghetto riots ignored him. He knew
and increasing numbers he had raised their
King lacked reliable of black and white hopes but failed to fulfil
legal protection down extremists, all made him them.
South: after the bus increasingly pessimistic.
boycott, two whites, His close friend Many blacks thought
who had confessed to Reverend Ralph him too moderate, an
trying to blow up King's Abernathy said, `He was `Uncle Tom', in awe of
home, were adjudged just a different white authority figures.
innocent by an all-white person...sad and Many whites
Alabama jury. depressed.' considered him an
extremist, however.
He also had problems in
the North: he was The Washington Post
nearly killed on a 1958 accused him of inciting
visit to Harlem. A anarchy b/c he had
deranged -black woman urged

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It took non-violent-disruption
surgeons hours to of Washington DC to
remove the blade, `create the crisis that
which was millimetres will force the nation to
from his aorta. Had King look at the situation'. He
sneezed while awaiting called that `massive civil
the blade's removal, he disobedience'.
would have died.
In spring 1968 King
The dangers of dying did went to support black
not deter King: "My strikers in Memphis,
cause, my race, is worth Tennessee.
dying for.…read more

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