Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of clergyman. He graduated from Morehouse College, in Atlanta, in 1948, and received a Ph.D. in theology from Boston University in 1955. After being ordained a Baptist minister in 1947, Martin was named assistant pastor of his father’s church, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Montgomery. In 1960 he became co-pastor of his father’s church, a post he held until his death. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had gone to support striking sanitation workers. James Earl Ray was convicted of his murder.[1]

The intents of this paper are to: (1) find out why Martin Luther king was distinct from other black leaders; (2) know of his specific works and his literature; (3) be aware of the conspiracy of his death.

II. Background

A. Why Martin Luther King Jr. was distinct from other black leaders?

We have learned that King was very popular due to its noble works that he had done to every race. He was the only leader that received numerous awards even before and after his death. Aside from the award he won in the Nobel Prize, he received another award from a prestige group of Jewish American in 1965.

One year after, the Margaret Sanger Award was presented to King, Jr. by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for his spirited and dauntless resistance to racism and his enduring devotion and commitment for his principle of having a an equality among races. Not like with other black American leaders, King, Jr. also received the President Medal of Freedom in 1977 after his death.[2] And in the 20th century, Martin Luther King, Jr. is regarded as the second most appreciated person.

Moreover, aside from the awards he received, he helped Southern Christian Leadership Conference to be found and eventually, he was hailed as head of the organization. The aims and grounds of this organization were based on Christianity and its operational strategies were from Gandhi. During his service, he was able to travel over six million miles and spoke for about twenty-five hundred times.[3] Throughout his leadership, he headed a huge demonstration and rally in Birmingham, Alabama that took notice world widely which provided of what he called a “coalition of conscience”

III. Discussion

A. King as a leader

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a United States clergyman and civil rights leader. King became the nation’s most prominent spokesman for equal justice for black Americans. He was a charismatic leader and an eloquent speaker, who preached nonviolent resistance to unjust laws and practices, a tactic he adopted from Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi. His civil rights efforts helped to bring about passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1964.[4] In 1983, the U.S. Congress voted to make his birthday, January 15, a national holiday (celebrated on the third Monday of the month). In addition, his books and literature that were written include: Stride toward Freedom (1958); Measure of a Man (1059); Strength to love (1963); Why We Can’t Wait (1964); and The Trumpets of Conscience (1968).[5]

King began his involvement in the modern civil rights movement in 1955 with leadership of the Montgomery (Alabama) bus boycott, which ended segregated seating on that city’s public buses. He then urged black Americans to follow the Montgomery example and win their rights through non-violent protest.

As head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which he helped to found in 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr. led demonstrations, marches, sit-ins, and boycotts in many cities in both the South and the North, often meeting hostility and sometimes violence.[6] He was jailed several times in the South for his activities. In 1967, he also became a leader of the peace movement, seeking an end to the Vietnamese War.

B. Its Allegations

Several suspected that there was a conspiracy during the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Furthermore, the said eyewitnesses who surrounded King, Jr. during his assassination stated that the shot came from different locations and it came from thick shrubbery nearly close to the “rooming house” and did not exactly come there. James Earl Ray was suspected as the assassin and was put into trial.

On the other hand, Dexter King- son of Martin Luther King- was able to meet Ray and showed support publicly on Ray’s efforts to have a trial during 1997.[7] Two years later, Martin Luther King’s wife, Coreatta Scott King, and along with the member of her family received an erroneous trial against Loyd Jowers and to the unidentified accomplices. Three years after (2000), the Department of Justice had its investigation on Jower’s claims but it failed to look for evidence in order to support the allegations.[8]

IV. Conclusion

The life of Martin Luther King, Jr. was truly a blessing for every black American who experienced equality and biases from the “superior race.” This man leaves a very notable reputation and honors that none of the black Americans can compare with his notable record as a man who brought changed in America’s society. Martin Luther King, Jr. has truly contributed to the history of United States of America.

His upright deeds will not be forgotten for every individual especially for those who experienced racism. He was a type of a leader that was able to lead a mass writhe for racial equality that doomed separation and brought changed to the United States of America. His assassination was not the end of the “black people society” to keep fighting for their rights but it was only the beginning that motivated their hearts to continue fighting for its principles and rights.

References:

Haskins, James (2004). The Life and Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Lothrop, Lee & Shephard, 2000).
Lincoln, C.E. (2002). Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Profile (Hill & Wang, 1996).
Oates, S.B. (1999). Let the Trumpet Sound: the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.     (Harper & Row, 1992).
Richardson, Nigel (2003). Martin Luther King (David & Charles, 1997).
Martin Luther King: The Nobel Peace Prize 1964.” Nobelprize.org, copyright Nobel Web AB 2006. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king- bio.html

[1] Richardson, Nigel (2003). Martin Luther King (David & Charles, 1997).
[2] Martin Luther King: The Nobel Peace Prize 1964.” Nobelprize.org, copyright Nobel Web AB 2006. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king- bio.html
[3] Oates, S.B. (1999). Let the Trumpet Sound: the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.      (Harper &             Row, 1992).
[4] Lincoln, C.E. (2002). Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Profile (Hill & Wang, 1996).
[5] Oates, S.B. (1999). Let the Trumpet Sound: the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.       (Harper &             Row, 1992).
[6] Ibid…
[7] Haskins, James (2004). The Life and Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Lothrop, Lee &     Shephard, 2000).
[8] Oates, S.B. (1999). Let the Trumpet Sound: the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.       (Harper &             Row, 1992).