One of the most seeable advocators of passive resistance and direct action as methods of societal alteration, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on 15 January 1929. As the grandson of the Rev. A.D. Williams, curate of Ebenezer Baptist church and a laminitis of Atlanta ‘s NAACP chapter, and the boy of Martin Luther King, Sr. , who succeeded Williams as Ebenezer ‘s curate, King ‘s roots were in the Afro-american Baptist church. After go toing Morehouse College in Atlanta, King went on to analyze at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and Boston University, where he deepened his apprehension of theological scholarship and explored Mahatma Gandhi ‘s nonviolent scheme for societal alteration. King married Coretta Scott in 1953, and the undermentioned twelvemonth he accepted the pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King received his Ph.D. in systematic divinity in 1955.
On 5 December 1955, after civil rights militant Rosa Parks refused to follow with Montgomery ‘s segregation policy on coachs, black occupants launched a coach boycott and elected King president of the newly-formed Montgomery Improvement Association. The boycott continued throughout 1956 and King gained national prominence for his function in the run. In December 1956 the United States Supreme Court declared Alabama ‘s segregation Torahs unconstitutional and Montgomery coachs were desegregated.
Seeking to construct upon the success in Montgomery, King and other southern black curates founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference ( SCLC ) in 1957. In 1959, King toured India and farther developed his apprehension of Gandhian nonviolent schemes. Subsequently that twelvemonth, King resigned from Dexter and returned to Atlanta to go co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church with his male parent.
In 1960, black college pupils initiated a moving ridge of sit-in protests that led to the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee ( SNCC ) . King supported the pupil motion and expressed an involvement in making a young person arm of the SCLC. Student militants admired King, but they were critical of his top-down leading manner and were determined to keep their liberty. As an adviser to SNCC, Ella Baker, who had antecedently served as associate manager of SCLC, made clear to representatives from other civil rights organisations that SNCC was to stay a student-led organisation. The 1961 “ Freedom Rides ” heightened tensenesss between King and younger
militants, as he faced unfavorable judgment for his determination non to take part in the drives. Conflicts between SCLC and SNCC continued during the Albany Movement of 1961 and 1962.
In the spring of 1963, King and SCLC lead mass presentations in Birmingham, Alabama, where local white constabulary functionaries were known for their violent resistance to integrating. Clashes between unarmed black demonstrators and constabularies armed with Canis familiariss and fire hosieries generated newspaper headlines throughout the universe. President Kennedy responded to the Birmingham protests by subjecting wide civil rights statute law to Congress, which led to the transition of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Subsequent mass presentations culminated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on 28 August 1963, in which more than 250,000 dissenters gathered in Washington, D. C. It was on the stairss of the Lincoln Memorial that King delivered his celebrated “ I Have a Dream ” address.
King ‘s renown continued to turn as he became Time magazine ‘s Man of the Year in 1963 and the receiver of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. However, along with the celebrity and awards came struggle within the motion ‘s leading. Malcolm X ‘s message of self-defense and black patriotism resonated with northern, urban inkinesss more efficaciously than King ‘s call for passive resistance ; King besides faced public unfavorable judgment from “ Black Power ” advocate, Stokely Carmichael.
King ‘s efficaciousness was non merely hindered by divisions among black leading, but besides by the increasing opposition he encountered from national political leaders. FBI manager J. Edgar Hoover ‘s extended attempts to sabotage King ‘s leading were intensified during 1967 as urban racial force escalated, and King ‘s public unfavorable judgment of U.S. intercession in the Vietnam War led to labored dealingss with Lyndon Johnson ‘s disposal.
In late 1967, King initiated a Poor People ‘s Campaign designed to face economic jobs that had non been addressed by earlier civil rights reforms. The undermentioned twelvemonth, while back uping striking sanitation workers in Memphis, he delivered his concluding reference “ I ‘ve Been to the Mountaintop. ” The following twenty-four hours, 4 April 1968, King was assassinated.
To this twenty-four hours, King remains a controversial symbol of the African American civil rights battle, revered by many for his martyrdom on behalf of passive resistance and condemned by others for his combativeness and seditious positions.