Happy Birthday Martin! Who was he? Well, he was an African-American reverend who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to bring about desegregation nonviolently.
Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.
In 1954, Martin Luther King accepted the pastorale of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank. Then on April 4, 1968, he was killed by a racist, segregationist’s bullet.
Just remember, Martin sacrificed his life and left a young wife and kids who he loved dearly behind in order to assist Black Americans who didn’t even have the right to vote in some states, as recently as 1965. His leadership and convictions, like Gandhi’s in India, were meant to bless this planet with a truth regarding the human spirit. Though there were many who gave, and still give their lives to advance the cause of human liberties and freedom here in America as well as around the world, I just hope that we, the people of the world, are ready to roll up our sleeves and challenge the ‘oil companies’, banks, corporations, governments, disease enablers and other vermin, by supporting change here in America and around the world with people who really care about all of the people of the world.
Let’s support a change from oil to bio-fuel.
Let’s work to rid the planet of polio, diabetes, starvation, guns, lies, greed and need.
Happy Birthday Martin! I hope that we are worthy of your sacrifice.
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