Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Impact on the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Impact on the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Impact on the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960
I. Introduction
Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important and influential civil rights activist in the history of the United States of America. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia to Alberta Williams and Michael Luther King Sr. Originally, King’s name was going to be Michael Luther King Jr., but his father renamed him to Martin Luther King Jr. after a trip to Europe. As a kid, King attended segregated schools, and graduated high school at age 15 (John A. Kirk). King attended Morehouse College, trying many different majors, such as sociology, medicine and law, before finally settling to major in ministry. In 1948, King was ordained by his father as co-minister at Ebenezer Church. After graduating from Morehouse in June 1948, King studied for a divinity degree at Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1951 (Kirk). After that, King enrolled in the Systematic Theology PHD program at Boston University. While at Boston University, King met Coretta Scott, his future wife (Nobel). Initially, King’s father wanted him to marry a woman from Atlanta, and opposed King’s plans to marry Coretta. “When King refused to back down, his father relented, and on June 18, 1953, he performed the marriage ceremony at the Scott family home in rural Perry County, Alabama” (Kirk). Martin Luther King Jr’s role in the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s positively affected the removal of segregation.

II. Historical Setting and Conflict
Prior to King’s involvement, tensions had been rising within the Black community about segregation laws long before King’s time. In the mid-15th century, European traders started exporti...

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“Jim Crow Laws." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 06 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2014
Kazin, Michael. “Martin Luther King Jr. and the Meaning of the 1960s.” American Historical Review 114. Apr. 2009: 980-89. Historical Reference Center. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
King, Martin Luther. "Letter from Birmingham Jail." 16 Apr 1963. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
Kirk, John A. "Martin Luther King Jr." New Georgia Encyclopedia. n.p., 17 Dec. 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
"Martin Luther King Jr." Biographical. Nobelprize.org, n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
McMurry, Inc. “Message. Messenger. Audience.” Vital Speeches of the Day. 12 (2012): 392-394. History Reference Center. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
"Rosa Parks" Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
"Slavery in Africa." Slavery in Africa. Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, 2000. Web. 29 Apr. 2014

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