By:Phoebe Kim, staff writer
You may have heard of Martin Luther King Jr, one of the most influential people of our country. He was a great man, and didn’t only dream dreams, but he chased after his dreams. He lived in tough times for the African-American people, but he did his best for equality. Although he had strong beliefs, he lead all of his protests very peacefully. Many people were against him, but he didn’t fall because of that. If he was alive today, he would have been 84 years old. His life burned bright, but short. He made a great change in our country, but it wasn’t the easiest thing to do.
Martin Luther King Jr. January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. His parents were Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He was a prodigy, skipping both ninth and twelfth grade. He graduated with the degree for Bachelor of Divinity. He married Coretta Scott at the age of 24. He became the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. He believed in non-violence, and his belief got more passionate as he visited Gandhi’s birthplace in India.
As I mentioned before, Martin Luther King Jr. lead many peaceful protests. Even when they were peaceful, many predicaments came up for him. When Rosa Parks got arrested for not giving up her bus seat, Martin Luther King Jr. started a Montgomery Bus Boycott. It lasted for 385 days and got so serious his house got bombed and he got arrested. In the end, he got his way and the law was passed that stopped racial segregation on Montgomery public buses. He also did many other peaceful protests such as the Albany Movement, the Birmingham campaign, St. Augustine, Florida movement, and went to Selma, Alabama.
Martin Luther King Jr. made his most famous speech at Washington, 1963. He was representing the SCLC, and was one of the leaders of the so called Big Six civil organization. More than a quarter of a million protesters came to this gathering; which at the time was the the greatest amount of people at a gathering with protesters.King delivered a 17, minute speech, most famously known as I Have a Dream. You may have heard, or even learned about it once. Some say it can be one of the finest dreams in the history of America’s oratory.
On March 29th, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis, Tennessee to support the black public sanitary work employees. He had received threats, but he just replied saying it doesn’t really matter to him because he’s been to the mountaintops and just wanted to do God’s will. His last words were to musician Ben Branch, who was playing music for the meeting he was going to that night, and he said,” Ben, make sure you play Take My Hand, Precious Lord in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.”
At 6:01 p.m., April 4th, 1968 there was a gunshot on the motel’s second floor balcony where Martin Luther King Jr. was standing. The bullet went into his right-cheek, breaking his jaw, then went down his spinal cord before lodging into his shoulder. He was rushed to the hospital for immediate chest surgery, but was declared dead 7:05 p.m. Although he died at the age of 39, through an autopsy was said that his heart was like a 60 year old’s; from the stress of 13 years in the civil rights movement.
As I mentioned before, Martin Luther King Jr. lived a bright but short life. He worked hard in the Civil Rights Movement for thirteen years, and went to a better place earlier than others. He was a great and influential man that changed the hearts of thousands. He is a good example for others, and is someone to be proud of. Let him rest in peace, and let us live out his dreams.