Martin Luther King – Part 2


Introduction


Martin Luther King was born on the 15th January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was named after his father ‘Daddy King’, and was nicknamed ‘ML’ for short. His father was Minister of Ebenezer Baptist Church.


Discrimination


Three main examples of discrimination against blacks happened in Martin’s life. The first happened when he was a child. His parents forbid him playing with his white friends. The second time happened when he was 15. He had just received an award for his speech “The Negro and the Constitution”. He was on a bus with his teacher, then there were no spaces left. Then two white people got on and the bus driver demanded Martin and his teacher give up their seats. Martin refused, and the bus driver called him a “black bastard”. This filled Martin with anger, but his teacher was begging him to give up the seats. Martin had to give in. The last rule forbid blacks to use the same shops or parks as whites.


Education


Martin Luther King went to Morehouse College at the age of 15. There, he met a philosopher named Benjamin Mays, who helped Martin with modern day problems and turned his life around.


After Morehouse, Martin went to Crozer Seminary, where he studied the works of Henry Thoreau-an abolitionist who served a jail sentence for refusing to pay tax to a Government who allowed slavery (Civil Disobedience). Martin also studied the works of the Indian religious leader, Mohandas K. Gandhi (known as Mahatma Gandhi). Gandhi believed that people should be willing to die for independence - but not kill for it, however harshly Indians were treated. Martin began to think that the non-violence laws might work in America.


When he graduated, Martin continued his studies at Boston University, working for his Ph.D. His friend introduced him to a woman called Coretta Scott. She loved music. The more time they spent with each other, the more they liked each other. Martin fell in love with her.


Marriage


Martin liked Coretta so much that he began to think about marrying her. He told “Daddy King” how much he loved her, and that he wanted to marry her. But their relationship did not go smoothly all the way. In 1952, over the summer, Martin invited Coretta to meet his parents. As a test to see how much he cared for her, Coretta refused. Martin told her that their relationship was off. But they got back together, and Coretta changed her priority to being with Martin. They soon announced their engagement. Martin Luther King and Coretta got married at Coretta’s home in Marion on the 18th June 1953 by Martin’s father “Daddy King”.


1st Job


After Martin and Coretta got married, Martin set his thoughts on being a church minister. He received a letter from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (in the South of the US) saying they had no preacher and would be happy to have him. Martin agreed and replied back. After the ceremony, Martin received another letter telling him that Dexter Avenue had voted him to be the permanent pastorate. But Martin had an important decision-education or minister. Martin moved south with Coretta and kept his pastoral job.