Martin Luther King, Jr.: Fighter for Freedom

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Nonviolence, Civil disobedience Pages: 4 (1509 words) Published: March 2, 2012
“If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live” (qtd. by “Martin Luther King Quotes”). 205 feet away, James Earl Ray lined up his Remington pump rifle and took meticulous aim. Suddenly, he fired multiple times, but it took only one bullet to pierce the neck and sever the life of one of the most influential people America has ever seen. On April 4th, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia (Jakoubek 10). He graduated college at the young age of 18 and married Coretta Scott, who blessed him with four children: Yoland, Martin, Dexter, and Bernice (Schulke 80-84). He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and is most remembered for his world renowned “I Have a Dream” speech given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (“Martin Luther King-Biography”). King was essential in advancing civil rights and influenced the whole movement along with the world by not only enforcing non-violent protests and making eloquent speeches to facilitate his cause, but also by encouraging education throughout his entire life. “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal” (qtd. by “Martin Luther King Quotes”). Of all of King’s actions in the civil rights movement, his plea for non-violence and peace was of greatest significance. He first got involved in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. At that time, the bus system was segregated, and a city law required that when a white person wanted to sit in a seat or a row already occupied by a black person, the black individual had to give up his or her seat. King encouraged black people to boycott the city buses because he felt the law was preposterous. In a speech during the boycott, King emphasized that he did not want black people to use violence. He believed that a peaceful protest was “the only weapon we have” (qtd. by “MLK Protests”). Segregationists attacked King’s home, but King still insisted on...
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