10 Honors English
27 November 2009
A Man of His Word
“I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). These wise and upholding words of confidence and determination changed the face of America during a time of hate and discrimination. King’s inspirational leadership and speeches helped make a local bus protest into a historical event (“King, Martin Luther Jr.”) He gathered thousands of people, both black and white, to many encouraging protests and meetings to bring a hateful and racist world to peace. His strategy of “encouraging nonviolent protest and interracial cooperation helped him to fight effectively again the southern system” (King, Martin Luther Jr.”). These strategies were also based on the belief of Indian pacifist Mohandas Gandhi. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ambition to seek a perfect world was extravagant; he will always be in the minds and hearts of Americans in years to come.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). His birth name was Michael, but he later changed it to Martin (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). His parent’s names were Alberta and Martin Luther King, Sr. Alberta was a homemaker and Martin Sr. was a minister (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). Martin Jr. also had an older sister, named Christine, and a younger brother, named Alfred
(“Martin Luther King Jr.). Young Martin grew up in Atlanta to a very loving family highly devoted to service and faith.
When Martin was young, he first encountered racism when his friends’ mother (who was white) did not allow him to play with her white son (Darby 8). Martin was too young to understand completely the meaning of why he was not allowed but the message he was simple, blacks were different from whites (Darby 9). He soon learned how to read signs that said, “NO COLORED ALLOWED. WHITES ONLY” (Darby 10). Black people could not eat where white people ate or attended the same movie theater (Darby 10). They could not drink from the same water fountains as whites or even buy cokes where white children bought theirs (Darby 10).
Martin’s knowledge was known at a young age. He began reading at a very early age; his favorite books were about black history and the people who made it (Darby 13). He went to school at local segregated schools in Atlanta. He went to school when he was only five years old, but at the time it was only legal for kids to start school at the age of six. After officials found this out, he was forced to wait another year and start again. Martin attended Young Street Elementary and David Elementary Schools.
When Martin was a junior in high school he was taking college exams that showed how advanced he was (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). He was able to go to college at the age of fifteen, skipping two years of high school. Martin attended Morehouse College, an all boy’s school and one of the finest black colleges in the country at the time. He studied sociology and received his bachelor’s degree Morehouse in 1948 (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). At the time Martin was thinking about becoming a minister. Rogers 3
His father being a key role model on his decision to become a minister, he described his decision as an “inner urge,” calling him to “serve God and humanity (Carson 501). He was ordained during his final semester at Morehouse (Carson 502). At this time and point in his life, this is also where Martin began to precede his first steps towards his political spotlight.
After departing Morehouse, King increased his understanding of liberal Christian thoughts while attending Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania from 1948 to 1951 (Carson 502). King...