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The Man, the Dream, the Legend - Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Man, the Dream, the Legend:

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. not only spoke with purpose but also with a style unlike any others. He was an inspirational speaker and a motivational leader. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., due to his importance in the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's, motivated masses with his tremendous speeches and actions. Dr. King utilized his charisma and inspirational tactics to change the views and beliefs of a nation and to lead his people throughout their course of the civil rights movement. His personality consisted of every good characteristic needed of a leader. He was sensible at all times and his ability to clearly state his ideas and thoughts surrounding peace and equality in the United States. There were other rights movements going on at the same time that Dr. King was leading his peaceful rights movements. The Black Panthers and other militant groups, some under Malcolm X's philosophy, often time would question King's leadership. King spoke in an eloquent manner and his ability to persuade and inspire is rivaled by none. Martin Luther King Jr. lived an exemplary life and although it culminated in his assassination, the strides that Dr. King made for the civil rights movement and his numerous speeches that inspired a nation such as his "I have a dreamÐ'..." speech, should never be forgotten nor ignored. The "I have a dreamÐ'..." speech is one of the most powerful speeches ever and is a main focus of the life of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King was born on January 15th, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. Martin was the second child in the family whose parents were the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He was the first son of the family, and his older sister was named Christine King. His actual real name was Michael Luther King, but "he was renamed "Martin" when he was about 6 years old" (Seattle). King's education is one of the normal sorts for a child growing up in the mid 1900's. He went through the regular educational system. Until his junior year, Martin Luther King was always an above average student, but once his junior year hit he received excellent marks on his college entrance exams which granted him admittance to Morehouse College an entire year earlier that expected. Also, Martin Luther King was so above average in his earlier years that he also skipped the ninth grade entirely and became a freshman in college at the ripe age of fifteen. After receiving a Sociology degree from Morehouse, King decided to further his studies at the University of Pennsylvania. While attending classes in Chester, Pennsylvania, right near downtown Philadelphia, Martin became the senior class president and also earned the prestigious valedictorian. Previous to enrolling to continue his educational studies, Martin decided to follow some spiritual educating. Martin Luther King Jr. was ordained as a minister in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1948. Then 1951, Martin wished to complete his doctoral degree and so he continued his studies at Boston University. Now, since his doctoral program was underway, King decided it was time for him to become married to the love of his life. This young woman was to be Coretta Scott, whom he married two years later in 1953. Along with his studies at the University of North Carolina, King also took some classes at the prestigious Harvard University. After King had gone through his educational and spiritual training he was no ready to lead African Americans towards true equality and away from the societal views that plagued them on a daily basis. King soon began his unbelievable career as a full-time civil rights activist.

King was successful early in his life as an activist by organizing and being a key player in the Montgomery Bus Boycott that lasted 381 days from 1955 and 1956. Following his involvement with this, he moved on to become the president, and founder, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1957 to 1968 and he was elected into numerous scholar groups throughout the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

King was involved in hundreds of protests, boycotts, and demonstrations of peace, but was arrested over 30 times. The most influential part about Martin Luther King is the way in which he could inspire his followers through his speeches. He would rally supporters to his cause and for his great accomplishments he earned himself a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the civil rights movement. He gave many fantastic speeches that have moved every listener in the crowd no matter whose side they were on. However, none of the speeches of his entire life could even come close to his "I have a dreamÐ'..." speech, which he delivered in 1963. There was not a speech in the history of the movement, maybe even the history of being, that was so powerful, eloquent, and important as his "I have a dreamÐ'..." speech, which was the culmination of the march on Washington.

Previous to the magnificent "Dream" speech, Martin Luther King was involved and instrumental in many other significant demonstrations throughout the civil rights movement. The sit-in movement was one that had many serious implications and achievements for the civil rights movement. The sit-ins began by college students who would sit in restaurants and refuse to leave until served. Starting in February, 1960, the sit-ins began in Greensboro, North Carolina, and continued throughout the nation. The sit-ins were always peaceful movements where those participating neither provoke nor attack any of the white people eating in the restaurants. In Atlanta, there was a department store that was largely known to be a key segregation point.

When King and 75 students entered the store and requested lunch-counter service, he and 36 others were arrested. Atlanta's mayor negotiated a truce, however, and charges were dropped, but King was imprisoned for violating his probation on a traffic offense conviction. John F. Kennedy, currently campaigning for the presidency, made a dramatic telephone call to Mrs. King. Political wheels were set in motion, and King was released (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

King selflessly gave everything he had at all points in his life to the civil rights movement. He did not care that he would be imprisoned numerous times or that death threats, and attempted bombings would ever hurt him. The fact that John F. Kennedy supported Martin Luther King, Jr. even when he was imprisoned by other white men showed the respect that King deserved from every human being in the country. Leading up to the monumental day in 1963 of the most famous of his speeches, King was traveling around the country giving speeches to



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