Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. posed challenges to segregation and racial
discrimination in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s through non-
violent and peaceful moves and put across his message to the white
Americans to help support the cause of the civil rights.
After his assassination in 1968 at the prime time of his civil rights
movement, King became a symbol of protest in the blacks' struggle for
racial justice in America. (Badger)
King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. His father served
as pastor of a large Atlanta church, Ebenezer Baptist. King Jr. was
ordained as a Baptist minister at the age of 18. (Badger)
King attended local segregated public schools and graduated with a
bachelor's degree in sociology from Morehouse College in 1948. He graduated
with honors from Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania in 1951. He
earned a doctoral degree in systematic theology from Boston University.
King was exposed to influences that related Christian theology to the
struggles of oppressed peoples throughout his academic career. He also
studied the teachings on non-violent movement of Indi
The direct action provoked violent responses from whitescommunity that forced the federal government to address the issues ofracial injustice and racial discrimination in the South. No King and no Gandhi were born thereafter inthe United States and India respectively to fight for the political, socialand economic rights of the downtrodden people on the massive scale thatwitnessed the era of both the leaders. King represented black courage and achievement, high moral leadership, andthe ability of Americans to address and overcome racial divisions. It was a historic decision that the New York Times compared with theabolition of slavery in the United States. This meeting gave birth to theconcept of satyagraha. He had tobring about a massive change in the American society itself encompassingall its aspects against racial discrimination and injustice over hundredsof years at the hands of the ruling white Americans. King'shistorical importance was memorialized at the Martin Luther King Jr. SCLC ProtestsIn the early 1960s, King staged a series of protest campaigns from theplatform of SCLC that gave national attention to his cause. His was the struggle betweennative Indians and the alien British while King had to struggle for rightsfrom within the native Americans. King addressed a rally ofmore than 20,000 people in front of the capitol building in Montgomery. Gandhi called for a number ofcivil disobedience acts against the government, but the Britishsuccessfully isolated Gandhi and neutralized his influence so much so thatthe movement lost momentum by 1933.