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Martin Luther King, Jr. was truly a man faced with adversity. King, an African American, was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929, a time and place in which African Americans were being severely discriminated against. However, he would prove to be the most influential people in history for Civil Rights.
He entered Morehouse College at the age of 15, was ordained a Baptist minister at 17, graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary as class president at 22, married Coretta Scott in June 1953, at 24, and received a doctorate in systematic theology in 1955, at age 26. By the end of this
scholarly journey, the core of King's philosophy of nonviolent protest had been formed, based on the ideals of Mohand as K. Gandhi. King returned to the south and accepted the pastorate of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
In December of 1955, the black community of Montgomery was outraged when a woman on her way home from work, Rosa Lee Parks, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a municipal bus to a white man. King was chosen to organize a boycott to end racial segregation in public
transportation. Although King gained national prominence as a result of his exceptional oratorical skills and personal courage, during the course of the 381-day action, his home was bombed, many threats were made against his life, and he was arrested, jailed, and convicted on charges of
conspiring to interfere with the bus company's operations. Despite efforts to suppress the movement, the Supreme Court's mandate outlawed all segregated public transportation in the city.
Although there are many more examples of King's tutelage, King's historic March on Washington (August 28, 1963), where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech is his most notable. Later, in 1964 King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Unlike others who struggle through adversity,
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On April 3, 1968, King spoke of having "been to the mountain top and seen the Promised Land." The following day, while seeking to assist a garbage workers' strike in Memphis, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed by James Earl Ray, a white escaped convict. King was a man who struggled the odds, opened new gateways for others, and in the end died for his cause.