Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, 2009Posted by Wheneva Whateva in Black History, Black Is Beautiful, I Heart Music, Xtra Xtra.
Tags: birthday, Black History, civil rights, holiday, martin luther king, mlk, stevie, stevie wonder
Martin Luther King was born as Michael Luther King (later changed) on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. King entered Morehouse College at the age of 15, and went on receive his B.A. in sociology in 1948. King then entered Crozer Theological Seminary, and in 1951 received a B.A. in Divinity. In the fall of 1951, King began studying for a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at Boston University, where he completed studies in 1955. While in Boston King met Coretta Scott, who was studying concert singing at the New England Conservatory of Music. The two married in 1953 and had four children.
Rev. King, who was ordained at the age of nineteen at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, following in the footsteps of his father who was then senior pastor. In 1954 King accepted the role of senior pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. The modern civil rights movement was sparked in 1955 by Rosa Park’s refusal to give up her seat to a white patron on a segregated public bus. Rev. King, as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, helped lead the 381-day long Montgomery Bus Boycott through Gandhi inspired nonviolent protest. As the movement spread to other American cities, King helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech.
“In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” ~ Martin Luther King
In April 1968, Rev. King was in Memphis, Tennessee supporting the “Poor People’s Campaign.” On April 4th, Dr. King was tragically gunned down by an assassin’s bullet as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The nation and world mourned as Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was laid to rest on April 9, 1968 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Dr. King on the designation of his birthday as a federal holiday