In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day we would like to share a little bit about the man that helped to shape history. Known as one of the greatest or perhaps even THE greatest Civil Rights Activist, as well as leading the Civil Right Movement from the mid 1950’s to his unfortunate assassination in 1968, Martin was a man that many respected and still do to date. Born on January 15th,1929 in Atlanta,Georgia to his parents Michael and Alberta King, he was the middle child and bared the name Michael King Jr. after his father. Martin Luther King Jrs. father would eventually take over his father in law’s ministry as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and become such a successful minister that he would be given the name Martin Luther King Sr. in honor of the german protestant religious leader Martin Luther. With Martin Luther King Srs son following in his footsteps too, Michael King Jr. soon adopted the same name after becoming a minister himself, making him Martin Luther King Jr.
Growing up Martin Luther King Jr. was a well behaved, disciplined child. With much love from his siblings, parents and grandparents he enjoyed a well rounded childhood. He was in fact so close knit with his family , that upon hearing of his grandmother’s death by heart attack, he attempted to jump from a second story window of his family’s home trying to commit suicide. God had other plans for him though. Coming out with a few bumps and bruises Martin Luther was on his way to inspiring others with his speeches and what are now famous quotes. He believed in equality for all and that love should prevail over all else. Not only did he inspire others with his words and visions, he also headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and played a seismic role in ending the segregation of black and white people. In doing so he helped create the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. With his pivotal role in leading the boycotting of the public bus system in 1955 after the Rosa Parks incident he gained respect and admiration from many. He had a fresh approach to all the civil rights issues going on as well as a new zest and approach to actually getting some justice. Because of his many accomplishments he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He believed in the faith of god and widely wanted to protest in a non violent way so that his voice as well as others could be heard.
On August 28,1963 Martin Luther King Jr. led a massive demonstration at the Lincoln Memorial on civil rights. It was there his defining speech “I have Dream” would play a huge roll in the Civil Rights movement. As a matter of fact at another of his protests where he was arrested and taken to jail he wrote notes on his thoughts and ideas which was copied and published as Letters From Birmingham Jail and is used in college courses today as course material..
Sadly while at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on the night of April 4,1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by a fatal gunshot wound. His murderer James Earl Gray was charged and plead guilty of the crime on March 10, 1969 nearly a year later. Mr. Gray may have ended the life of the beloved minister, however he did not end this legacy. That is why today we celebrate the life, accomplishments, and the devoted non violent leader that helped shape our Civil Rights today. May we all honor and appreciate Mr. Martin luther KingJr. for all he has done for humanity, ending his life in the process. To Martin!!