Monday, June 21, 2004

Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil-Rights Leader

Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil-Rights Leader. Short biographical sketch of King's life, followed by annotated listing of recommended books about King.

From the site:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 at his family home in Atlanta, Georgia. King was an eloquent Baptist minister and leader of the civil-rights movement in America from the Mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. King promoted non-violent means to achieve civil-rights reform and was awarded the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

King's grandfather was a Baptist preacher. His father was pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church. King earned his own Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozier Theological Seminary in 1951 and earned his Doctor of Philosophy from Boston University in 1955.

While at seminary King became acquainted with Mohandas Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolent social protest. On a trip to India in 1959 King met with followers of Gandhi. During these discussions he became more convinced than ever that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom.

As a pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama, King lead a Black bus boycott. He and ninety others were arrested and indicted under the provisions of a law making it illegal to conspire to obstruct the operation of a business. King and several others were found guilty, but appealed their case. As the bus boycott dragged on, King was gaining a national reputation. The ultimate sucess of the Montgomery bus boycott made King a national hero.

No comments: