Martin Luther King Jr.



Name: Martin Luther King Jr.
Occupation: Civil Rights Activist, Minister
Birth Date: January 15, 1929
Death Date: April 4, 1968
Education: Boston University, Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary
Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia
Place of Death: Memphis, Tennessee

Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights advocate who sought out the abolishing of segregation within the U.S. The initial start of his movement began with the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  • This Boycott was done in efforts to abolish segregation in the bus systems, then the movement transitioned to end racial segregation in schools and all establishments as well as bring out complete racial equality.
  • He believed in change through non-violent means. Achieving his goals through peace was a necessity for MLK, he stated "Killing is a very tragic way to deal with any social problem. There is no violent solution to the problem that the Negro confronts in this country." Much of his peaceful manner derives from his Christian beliefs, as his job was a Pastor. Due to his strong beliefs in Christianity he was a follower of Natural Law.

Sources Of Change

  • During this time laws were enacted to provide separate, but "equal" public establishments for both whites and people of color. These establishments were anything but equal and with time, the black community become more outraged by the Jim crow laws as well as the appalling mistreatment of black individuals. This was accompanied by further scrutiny to the black community.
  • It came to the point where blacks were often beaten by mobs or many cases they were lynched.
  • The brutality of these actions only further spurred this movement as eventually more whites began to side with the African American community. This is a further demonstration of how society's change in values can have a profound change domestically as well as international.
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What actions did the individual take to bring about change?

Martin Luther King Jr. was a social rights activist. He spoke,coordinated and protested in many rallies to fight segregation and racism in the United States Of America. One of the most well known was the Montgomery bus boyott.

Montgomery Bus Boycott
After the discrimination and arrest of Rosa Parks after refusing to give up her seat on the bus, Martin Luther King along with the rest of the African-American community, boycotted the public transportation system in Montgomery which lasted for 382 days. After being defeated in several lower court rulings and suffering large financial losses, the city of Montgomery lifted the law mandating segregated public transportation.

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How Successful was Martin Luther King Jr.? What opposition or adversity did he face?

Martin Luther King Jr. was successful in changing the mindsets of many, the outcomes of many lives of people of colour and sparked a change in the way others are treated and accepted all over the world. He played a key part in ending the legal segregation of African-Americans in the south and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Martin Luther King Jr. faced the opposition of closed minded people, who believed because of the colour of someones skin they are lesser or greater than other. He faced discrimination and oppression from law enforcement and the government because of the colour of his skin and because he wanted it to change.

His Legacy

  • Martin Luther King has become a symbol that represents perseverance and struggle through peaceful means of Civil Disobedience. He managed to do so, despite ruthless opposition.
  • He is one of the key people that led to the end of segregation and brought us a step closer to racial equality.
  • His actions led to the ratification of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as well as the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Not only did MLK manage to change laws, but he also changed people's values and perception towards a minority group which has been oppressed all through American history.
  • His life had a profound change on society to the point where he is commemorated through his own holiday, in the U.S, which is celebrated on the 3rd Monday of every January.
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Luther King Jr., Martin. "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The Atlantic Monthly, 1 Aug. 1963. Web. <>.

Luther King Jr., Martin. "Martin Luther King and Malcolm X Debate." YouTube. YouTube, 7 May 2011. Web. <>.

"Martin Luther King Jr. Biography Civil Rights Activist, Minister (1929–1968)." A&E Networks Television. Web. <>.

"What Did Martin Luther King Do to Progress the Civil Rights Movement?" YourDictionary. Web. <>.

"Martin Luther King Jr. - Biography". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 10 Mar 2015. <>

Martin Luther King Jr. (2009, January 1). Retrieved March 11, 2015, from