Martin Luther King Jnr

Martin Luther King Jnr.

Martin Luther King Jnr

Martin Luther King Jnr

Martin Luther King Jnr was born in January 1929 and assassinated on April 4th, 1968. He was a Baptist Minister who became one of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement. King rose to prominence as a result of the Montgomery Bus Protest of 1955. He was one of the leaders and organisers of the protest and became targetted by White Supremacists as a result of his role. After the success of the MOntgomery Bus Protest, King, along with others, formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). This organisation used methods based on those of Ghandi to promote Civil Rights issues in Alabama. King and the SCLC organised peaceful protests calling for the end of Segregation, equal voting rights and labour rights. These marches spread throughout the United States and many were incorporated into the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1963 King led the SCLC’s campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, to end the Jim Crow laws. The success of this campaign made King a national figure. He was also one of the organisers of the March on Washington, where he gave his famous ‘I have a Dream’ speech. In 1965 the SCLC led marches in Montgomery which saw Police Violence being used against the protesters. This was screened across America and led to widespread condemnation of the tactics used by the authorities. King’s response was to organise more marches – and to then disperse them quickly to avoid confrontation with the police. King attempted to spread the civil rights movement into the Northern States of America. In Chicago, in 1966, he found that his organisation was not welcome. He also led campaigns to help the poor and in 1968 tried to assemble a poor peoples army to march on Washington to demand improved conditions. Martin Luther King Jnr was assassinated on March 29th, 1968.

Martin Luther King Quotes:

“A right delayed is a right denied.”

“A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent. ”

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

“Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.”

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.”

“I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.”

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him. ”

“The Negro needs the white man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the Negro to free him from his guilt. ”

Links – large collection of King’s speeches, letters and sermons along with biographical information, quizzes and discussion forums.

American Rhetoric – full text and a video of the ‘I have a Dream’ speech.

Enchanted Learning – accessible biography and a range of learning activities relating to MLK.

NY Times – The New York Times’ biography and archive entries for Martin Luther King jnr.

The United States c1945-1971

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