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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a very important leader of the American Civil Rights movement as well as a Nobel Prize winner. He proved that Civil Disobedience was an effective weapon against depression. King’s challenges to segregation and racial discrimination in the 1950’s and 1960’s helped convince many white Americans to support the cause of Civil Rights in the United States.
     Dr. King was born into the American Civil Rights movement in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. His grandfather was the founder of the Atlanta Chapters of the NAACP, and his father was the Pastor of the Eboniza Baptist Church where he worked as a Civil Rights Leader. Dr. King attended Morehouse College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1948. Dr. King married Coretta Scott King in 1953. After graduating with honors from Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania in 1951, he went to Boston University where he earned a PHD in Divinity in 1955. After graduating from Boston University, Dr. King became the Pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama where he began the activities that would make him an American Civil Rights Leader.
     In many states, African Americans were denied voting rights and access to schools, buses, and other public facilities that were segregated. They were also denied accommodations in hotels that were for whites only. Discrimination was openly practiced and in some places sanctioned by law. Dr. King’s goal was to protest segregation until it was declared unconstitutional. In 1955 Rosa Parks was ordered by a bus driver to give up her seat to a white passenger. When she refused, she was arrested and taken to jail. King started the Boycott of the Montgomery Bus System. In 1956 the Supreme Court declared Segregation Laws unconstitutional which ended Bus Segregation. King learned Civil Disobedience from Gandhi and proved that peaceful non-violent protests, such as marches, boycotts, and sit-ins, were an effective weapon against depression. In 1957 Dr. King and other ministers formed the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) which fought for the Civil Rights of all Americans. In 1959 King returned to Atlanta, Georgia, the headquarters of the SCLC, to assist his dad and work for Civil Rights. In August of 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have A Dream” speech during the March on Washington. Later in the spring of 1963 President JFK introduced the Civil Rights Act (the single most important piece of Civil Rights Legislature) which was passed by President Johnson. In 1964 Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and Man of the Year in Time Magazine. J. Edgar Hoover later investigated Dr. King because of his opposition of the Vietnam War. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee while he was aiding sanitation workers. Like Gandhi, he fell victim to brutal sad violence.
     Dr. King was a very important leader who proved that non-violent protests were an effective weapon against depression. Through his actions and by practicing Civil Disobedience, King was able to help African Americans overcome segregation and convince many white Americans to support Civil Rights in the United States. King was also a Nobel Prize Winner.

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