Martin Luther King was an American clergyman and Nobel Prize winner, one of the principal leaders of the American civil rights movement, of which he was the voice
He was an advocate of non-violent protest and direct action as methods of social change. King's challenges to segregation and racial discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s helped convince many white Americans to support the cause of civil rights in the United States. After his assassination in 1968, King became a symbol of protest in the struggle for racial justice.
Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia on 15th January, 1929. After considering careers in medicine and law, he entered the ministry.
While studying at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, King heard a lecture on Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent civil disobedience campaign that he used successfully against British rule in India. King became convinced that the same methods could be employed by blacks to obtain civil rights in America. King was also influenced by Henry David Thoreau and his theories on how to use nonviolent resistance to achieve social change.
King became pastor in Montgomery, Alabama. In Montgomery, like most towns in the Deep South, buses were segregated. On 1st December, 1955, Rosa Parks, a prominent member of the local NAACP, who was tired after a hard day's work, refused to give up her seat to a white man.
After the arrest of Rosa Parks, King and his friends helped organize protests against bus segregation. It was decided that black people in Montgomery would refuse to use the buses until passengers were completely integrated. The boycott lasted 13 month and eventually, the loss of revenue and a decision by the Supreme Court forced the Montgomery Bus Company to accept integration, and to desegregate the buses. King became a national figure. His book about the bus boycott, Stride Toward Freedom (1958), provided a... [continues]
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