Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. King was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia and he was originally skeptical of many of Christianity's claims. As a Christian minister, King’s main influence was Jesus Christ and the Christian gospels, which he would almost always quote in his religious meetings, speeches at church, and in public discourses. King then began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University and received his P.hD degree. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience movement.
Achievements and Awards
Dr. King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president.
On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery Marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and speak against the Vietnam War
King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal
I have a Dream
King is most famous for his "I Have a Dream" speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. More than a quarter of a million people of diverse ethnicities attended the event, sprawling from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial onto the National Mall and around the reflecting pool. At the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington, D.C.'s history. "I Have a Dream" came to be regarded as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory. His speech helped put civil rights at the top of the agenda of reformers in the United States and facilitated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Letter from Birmingham Jail