Martin Luther King Jr.“I Have a Dream” By, Brian Fratello
About MLK Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American clergyman, activist and a leader in the African American civil rights movement. Kings biggest goal was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was A protest campaign intended to rise against the city’s policy of racial segregation. Whites were intended to take the front rows on the bus while the blacks were forced towards the back rows of the bus. At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. After being notified that he had been selected, King announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to further the civil rights movement. King had been arrested roughly around twenty times. He had been awarded five honorary degrees. In 1963 he was named Time Magazines “Man of the Year”.
Early Life Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta Georgia on January 15, 1929. MLK Jr. was the son of Michael King. His father originally named him Michael King as well until they traveled to Germany in 1934, where his father changed both their names to Martin Luther after the German protestant leader Martin Luther. MLK Jr. attended Booker T. Washington High School, he only attended 10th 11th grade and skipped 9th and 12th, entering Morehouse College at age 15 without formally graduating High school. He graduated from Morehouse with a degree in sociology. After Morehouse King began doctoral studies at Boston University in systematic theology and received his Doctor of Philosophy. King got married to a women named Coretta Scott in 1953. He then became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama.
March on Washington On august 28, 1963, over 250,000 people gathered up at the Washington Monument to March to the Lincoln Memorial, as a nonviolent protest. Before the march began the police gathered up thousands of men to look over the march, expecting the protest to be violent and harmful. But it turned out that it was a peaceful march, no police officers were ever needed. This entire protest was covered by CBS on live television. At the Lincoln Memorial many speakers spoke, including the “Big Six”. The “Big Six” consisted of six civil rights leaders. James Farmer, John Lewis, A. Phillip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, and the famous Martin Luther King Jr. This Is where King made his “I Have a Dream” speech. When King stepped up CBS immediately cut off normal broadcastings on the television to replace it for his speech.
“I Have a Dream” In the first paragraphs of Kings “I Have a Dream” speech, he mainly describes the historical background of racial segregation. He speaks about Abraham Lincoln and how without him and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, put them where they are today. The Emancipation Proclamation consists of two executive orders, the first one stating the freedom of all slaves in the Confederate States, and the second, which was issued a few months after the first, stated ten states where the Emancipation Proclamation would apply. King then moves on to the situation now and what it ought to be. How a hundred years after the Emancipation was issued, black people are still not free, how they are still being discriminated against and segregated from others. He talks about the Declaration of Independence, how all men, including black men, have the right of life and the pursuit of happiness. He tells the people standing before him that he believes that one day blacks and whites will stand as equals, that they will have there citizenship and will be able to live the lives in which they are supposed to.
Problems he Faced Martin Luther King Jr. faced many problems during the Civil Rights movement. King had been assaulted several times by people on the streets. He had received hundreds of phone calls, and letters threatening to kill him. During the movement King had been arrested over twenty times. One of the most famous attempts/threats made on King was on January 30th, 1956. A bomb was thrown into Kings house, nobody was seriously injured. Almost everywhere MLK went he was virtually harassed. 1964 King was harassed by a group of black Muslims, they through stones at him in the streets.
Assassination On April 4th, 1968, 6:01 P.M. Martin Luther King Jr. was standing out on the balcony of his hotel room, the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee. As he was standing there a shot rang out, striking King directly in the jaw and his neck, killing him. After the assassination blacks around the nation took the streets in massive riots. The FBI investigated the crime. They arrested one man, but many people, including Kings family believe that the man they arrested was innocent.
My Thoughts I think Martin Luther King Jr. put a big impact on the United States and where it is today. He was very good at what he did, using non violence as a weapon to get what he wanted. I admire what he did, through all the threats and beatings he had taken, he was so passionate about getting blacks their rights and changing peoples views on segregation, that he ignored these threats and kept going. There was one speech he made that he openly said, “I can see the promise land, but I do not think ill make it there with you”. That shows his goal in life was to end segregation no matter what it took, he knew eventually somebody would get to him, but I believe he wanted to do as much as he could before that time came.