Martin Luther King Jr. Story

  • The Beginning

    The Beginning
    Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, the second child of Martin Luther King Sr., a pastor, and Alberta Williams King, a former schoolteacher. He grew up in the city’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood, then home to some of the most prominent and prosperous African Americans in the country.
  • Eduaction

    Eduaction
    He attended a public school and at age 15 he was admitted to Morehouse College where the alma mater both his father and maternal grandfather studied medicine and law. Instead of fallowing his father's footsteps he joined the minstery.
  • Graducation

    Graducation
    After graduating in 1948, King entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree, won a prestigious fellowship and was elected president of his predominantly white senior class.
  • The Paster

    The Paster
    He enrolled in graduate program at Boston University completing his coursework and then earning a doctorate in systematic theology two years later. While in Boston he meet Coretta Scott, a young singer from Alabama who was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music. The couple wed in 1953 and settled in Montgomery, Alabama, where King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
  • The King Family

    The King Family
    They had four children: Yolanda Denise King, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King and Bernice Albertine King. They had been living in Montgomery for less than a year when the highly segregated city became the epicenter of the burgeoning struggle for civil rights in America, galvanized by the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.
  • The Bus

    The Bus
    On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, secretary of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus and was arrested. Activists coordinated a bus boycott that would continue for 381 days, placing a severe economic strain on the public transit system and downtown business owners. They chose Martin Luther King, Jr. as the protest’s leader and official spokesman.
  • The Southern Christian Leadership Conference

    The Southern Christian Leadership Conference
    The boycott’s was a success, in 1957 he and other civil rights activist. Most of them fellow ministers found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) which was a group committed to achieving full equality for African Americans through nonviolent protest.
  • Atlanta

    Atlanta
    In 1960 the king family moved to Atlanta, his native city, where he joined his father as co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. This new position did not stop King and his SCLC colleagues from becoming key players in many of the most significant civil rights battles of the 1960s.
  • Letter from Jail

    Letter from Jail
    The Birmingham campaign of 1963, in which activists used a boycott, sit-ins and marches to protest segregation, unfair hiring practices and other injustices in one of America’s most racially divided cities. MKL was arrested for his involvement on April 12, King penned the civil rights manifesto known as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” an eloquent defense of civil disobedience addressed to a group of white clergymen who had criticized his tactics.
  • Civil Right Act

    Civil Right Act
    Held on August 28 and attended by some 200,000 to 300,000 participants, the event is widely regarded as a watershed moment in the history of the American civil rights movement and a factor in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • I have a dream

    I have a dream
    The March on Washington culminated in King’s most famous address, known as the “I Have a Dream” speech, a spirited call for peace and equality that many consider a masterpiece of rhetoric.
    In the spring of 1965, King’s elevated profile drew international attention to the violence that erupted between white segregationists and peaceful demonstrators in Selma, Alabama, where the SCLC and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had organized a voter registration campaign.
  • The Assassination

    The Assassination
    On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. He was shot while he was standing on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, where King had traveled to support a sanitation workers’ strike. In the wake of his death, a wave of riots swept major cities across the country, while President Johnson declared a national day of mourning.