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Martin Luther King Jr.: Civil Rights Leader And Social Activist

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Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929. He grew up in a devoted, and affectionate family environment. Even though King’s parents demonstrate a positive environment, that did not shield King from racism, or discrimination. He was advanced in his knowledge; so leading him to attend Morehouse College at the young age of fifteen. King then expressed his unquestionable passion for becoming a ministry. Atof, twenty-five King completed college, while being a pastor at a Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama (A&E Networks Television, 15 Apr. 2019.)

The Montgomery Bus Boycott began on March 2, 1955, due to black women being forcefully removed from a seat on the bus, simply so white people could be seated; therefore leading Rosa Parks to be one of the black woman arrested. Shortly after Parks was arrested, Martin Luther King met with the head of the NAACP. Eventually, King was elected to the Montgomery Boycott. Since King was leading the Boycott, he was an easy target for many attacks, expectually threats. King forced the Boycott to make a necessary change in the Supreme Court’s idea of separate but equal, which was seen to black people as unconstitutional. Due to Martin Luther King believe that violence would not be used for any circumstances, it helped them outlaw the rule of segregated public transportation.

In 1957, King, and others established a national organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The conference focused on morality. The establishment of the conference assisted in peaceful protests, and advancing the number of registered black voters. King taught everyone nonviolence, and how beneficial it can be if done correctly. Because of King’s concept of nonviolence, student’s that did sit ins were able to abolish segregated lunch areas in certain cities. Later King was arrested for sitting in segregated lunch area in a city which was not accepting of his actions, he was later freed with no pending charges.

In 1963, Martin Luther King was arrested for having a peaceful protest in Birmingham, Alabama. King them wrote a letter that told other black Americans to continue to use nonviolence, because we don’t use violence, the only thing they can do is listening, and they will eventually try to come to an agreement. It was 28th of August 1963, when the March on Washington began. King presented to other black Americans his, “I Have a Dream’ speech, which focused on the hope that someday all black Americans will be free, and will be seen as an equal to any other gender of race. King’s speech leads him to receive a Nobel Prize in 1964.

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In March of 1965, a group of black and white people, including King, used his concept of nonviolence to make a stand. They all walked toward a barricade prayer, and peacefully walked away. President Lyndon B. Johnson announced his support of King’s protests, and instructed troops and national guards to protect not only King, but all the protesters too. Shortly, after this peaceful protest Johnson approved of the 1965, Voting Rights Act (A&E Networks Television, 15 Apr. 2019.)

In the 1960s, King tried to help others in power understand that more needs to be done for the poor, they should be given more economic equality. In 1968, King acted in an interracial movement “Poor People’s March” in Washington. This march was intended to forcefully make the government focus on the employment, and housing problems that were drastically growing. The plan was to demonstrate daily from May 14th to June 24th, 1968. The protesters would consist of many races, just so people of power could understand it is not only about color, the overall problem was effect all Americans.

If it wasn’t for Martin Luther King Jr., I would live a life of hardship, as a black woman, I have experienced racism. I have experienced pure cruelty, because of the color of my skin. Sure, racism is still alive, racism is something that will never die, but Martin Luther King helped make sure that we still have our rights, and we can easily press charges, and have something done about racism. He made sure that I am able to have opportunities, he made sure I am able to vote, have rights, be equal to any other race. Martin Luther King made sure that can be free. King helped us find our place in this world, and made sure that it was known that black people are important (Cook, Samuel DuBois,1968, pp. 348–354.)

King helped establish Black History Month, which helps kids know that black history is not always focused on slavery, that was a part of our history, but our history doesn’t revolve around that. I admire Martin Luther King Jr. for making a difference, not only for himself, but for generations to come. He demonstrated selflessness, and patience. Martin Luther King played such a significant role in so many lives, he now has a day dedicated to appreciating what he has done for all of us. Martin King Day was signed by President Reagan, he declared it to be placed on every third monday of January, just before Black History Month (A&E Television Networks, 9 Feb. 2010.)


  1. “Martin Luther King Jr.”, A&E Networks Television, 15 Apr. 2019,
  2. Cook, Samuel DuBois. “Martin Luther King.” The Journal of Negro History, vol. 53, no. 4, 1968, pp. 348–354. JSTOR,
  3. Miller, Keith D. “Composing Martin Luther King, Jr.” PMLA, vol. 105, no. 1, 1990, pp. 70–82. JSTOR,
  4. Sturm, Douglas. “Martin Luther King, Jr., as Democratic Socialist.” The Journal of Religious Ethics, vol. 18, no. 2, 1990, pp. 79–105. JSTOR,
  5. “MLK Federal Holiday Declared.”, A&E Television Networks, 9 Feb. 2010,
  6. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Poor People’s Campaign.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 12 June 2018,

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Martin Luther King Jr.: Civil Rights Leader And Social Activist. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from
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