Martin Luther King, Jr., was a man of impressive moral presence who devoted his life to the fight for full citizenship rights of the poor, disadvantaged, and racially oppressed in the United States. Born on January 15, 1929, In Atlanta, Ga., he was the second of the three children of the Reverend Michael (later Martin) and Mrs. Alberta Williams King. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology (1948) from Morehouse College, a B.D. (1951) from Crozer Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in philosophy (1955) from Boston University. In 1954, King accepted his first pastorate—the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. He and his wife, Coretta Scott King, whom he had met and married (June 1953) while at Boston University, had been resident in Montgomery less than a year when Mrs. Rosa Parks defied the ordinance concerning segregated seating on city buses (December 1, 1955). King’s successful organization of the year-long Montgomery bus boycott, with the assistance of Rev. Ralph Abernathy and Edward Nixon, catapulted him into national prominence as a leader of the Civil Rights movement (see “Martin Luther King, Jr.” New Standard Encyclopedia, pp. K-86-87, vol. 10). King studied the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and further developed the Indian leader’s doctrine of satyagraha (“holding to the truth”), or nonviolent civil disobedience. In the Aftermath of Montgomery he traveled, delivered speeches, and wrote his first book, Stride toward freedom (1958). In 1960 he accepted co-pastorship with his father of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and became president pf the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Although he continued to travel and speak widely and firmly committed the SCLC to voter-registration campaigns throughout the South, King’s major campaigns were those in Albany, Ga., Birmingham, Ala. He organized the massive March on Washington (August 28, 2963) where, in his brilliant “I Have a Dream” speech, he “subpoenaed the conscience of the nation before the judgment seat of morality” (see “Martin Luther King, Jr.” Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge, pp. 69-70 vol. 11).In January 1964, King was chosen by Time magazine as “Man of the Year”, the first African so honored. Later that year he became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (see “Martin Luther King, Jr.” Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge, pp. 69-70 vol. 11).
The intents of this paper are to: (1) find out why Martin Luther king was distinct from other black leaders; (2) know about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and who was responsible of his death and; (3) be aware of the conspiracy of his death.
A. Why Martin Luther king was distinct from other black leaders?
We have learned that King was very popular due to its noble works that he had done to every race. He was the only leader that received numerous awards even before and after his death. Aside from his award in the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, the American Jewish Committees awarded Martin Luther King, Jr. the American Liberties Medallion for his excellent advancement of the human’s principles liberty in 1965. One year after, the Margaret Sanger Award was presented to King by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for his spirited and dauntless resistance to racism and his enduring devotion and commitment to the advancement of social justice and human dignity. And was mentioned earlier, he received the President Medal of Freedom in 1977 after his death. And in the 20th century, Martin Luther King is regarded as the second most appreciated person as stated to a Gallup poll and was also voted 6th in the Person of the Century poll by TIME. Additionally, he was chosen as the third Greatest American of all time by the American public in a competition organized by the AOL and Discovery Channel (see “Awards and Recognition” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. September 11, 2006).
Moreover, aside from the awards he received, he was chosen as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. The principles for this organization were based on Christianity and its operational strategies were from Gandhi. During his service, he was able to travel over six million miles and spoke for about twenty-five hundred times. Throughout his leadership, he headed a huge demonstration and rally in Birmingham, Alabama that took notice world widely which provided of what he called a “coalition of conscience” (see Martin Luther King: The Nobel Peace Prize 1964.” Nobelprize.org, copyright Nobel Web AB 2006).
A. The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the man responsible on his death.
Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had gone to support striking sanitation workers. The violent death of this man of peace brought an immediate reaction of rioting in black ghettos around the country. The FBI investigated his sudden death but several have believed that they were part of it. Although one man, James Earl Ray, was convicted of King’s murder, the question of whether he was convicted of king’s murder, the question of whether he was the paid agent of conspirators has not been resolved (see Rosenberg, Jennifer. “Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated”).
B. Its Allegations
Several suspected that there was a conspiracy during the assassination of Martin Luther King. Jr. In addition, the eyewitnesses who surrounded Martin Luther King, Jr. during his assassination stated that the shot came from different location—stated that it came from thick shrubbery close to the rooming house and not really came from the rooming house. According to Jim Green, a former Pemiscot County, Missouri deputy sheriff, claimed that he was been part of the FBI-led conspiracy to murder King. In addition, Dexter King— son of Martin Luther King— was able to meet Ray and showed support publicly on Ray’s efforts to have a trial during 1997 (see Kirk, John A., Martin Luther King, Jr. London: Pearson Longman, 2005). Two years later, Martin Luther King’s wife, Coreatta Scott King, and her family “won a wrongful death civil trial” in opposition to Loyd Jowers and to the unidentified co-conspirators. Three years after (2000), the Department of Justice had its investigation on Jower’s claims but it failed to look for evidence in order to support the allegations (see Kirk, John A., Martin Luther King, Jr. London: Pearson Longman, 2005).
Martin Luther King Jr., leave a very notable reputation that no Black Americans can compare with his notable record as a man who brought changed in America’s society. Martin Luther King, Jr. has truly contributed to the history of United States of America. His upright deeds will not be forgotten for every individual especially for those who experienced racism. He was a type of a leader that was able to lead a mass writhe for racial equality that doomed separation and brought changed to the United States of America. His assassination was not the end of the “black people society” to keep fighting for their rights but it was only the beginning that motivated their hearts to continue fighting for its principles and rights.
1. Rosenberg, Jennifer. “Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated”. http://history1900s.about.com/cs/martinlutherking/a/mlkassass.htm
2. Martin Luther King: The Nobel Peace Prize 1964.” Nobelprize.org, copyright Nobel Web AB 2006. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html
3. “Martin Luther King, Jr.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. September 11,
Kirk, John A., Martin Luther King, Jr. London: Pearson Longman, 2005. ISBN 0-582-41431-8
“Martin Luther King, Jr.” New Standard Encyclopedia, pp. K-86-87, vol. 10
“Martin Luther King, Jr.” Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge, pp. 69-70 vol. 11