Luther’s life history:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on fifth January 1929 in Atlanta Georgia U.S.A. He was the second child of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King between his sister, Willie Christine (September 11, 1927) and younger brother, Albert Daniel (nicknamed ‘A.D.’; July 30, 1930 – July 21, 1969). Luther was an ardent Christian from an early age since he was brought up in a Christian dominated background. King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind.

He entered Morehouse College at the age of fifteen, as he skipped his ninth and twelfth high school grades without formally graduating. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania

and graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) degree in 1951. In September of that year, King began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University

and received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) on June 5, 1955.


Before completing his doctoral studies in 1953, at the age of twenty-four, King became the

senior pastor of the  Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, in Montgomery, Alabama. Martin Luther

was one of the main leaders of the American civil rights movement, a political activist, a Baptist

minister, and was one of


Martin Luther King Jr

‘s greatest orators. In 1964, King became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (for his work as a peacemaker, promoting nonviolence and equal treatment for different races). On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee



King’s civil rights and educational activities:

Martin Luther’s involvement in active civil rights activism besides church teachings, were primarily caused by the Jim Crow laws, especially after Rosa parks was arrested for not complying with the laws. The Jim Crow Laws were state and local laws enacted in the Southern and Border States of the United States and enforced between 1876 and 1965. They mandated "separate but equal" status for black Americans. In reality, this led to treatment and accommodations that were almost always inferior to those provided to white Americans. Although it was legally required that the facilities should be provided, they were not.

The most important laws required that public schools, public places and public transportation, like trains and buses, have separate facilities for whites and blacks. (These Jim Crow Laws were separate from the 1800-66 Black Codes, which had restricted the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans.) [3] .Besides this king was a member of many other Civic organizations Rights groups. These included: NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee).

Martin Luther King Jr

Academic achievements:

Besides his work as a church minister Luther was also involved in a great deal of writing. Some of his works include The Measure of a Man, from which the piece what is Man? an attempt to sketch the optimal political, social, and economic structure of society, is derived. He wrote this book in 1959. His "Letter from Birmingham Jail", written in 1963, is a passionate statement of his crusade for justice. Other books to his credit include; Strength to Love (1963),

Why we can’t wait (1964), where do we go from here: Chaos or community? (1967), and The Trumpet of Conscience (1968) Apart from this king has been voted as one of America’s best orators. Among his speeches include I have a dream(this is a speech that he gave in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom)



He also gave another famous Speech "Beyond Vietnam" where in this speech he claimed From Vietnam to South Africa to Latin America; the U.S. was "on the wrong side of a world revolution″ [5]

. King also gave a prophetic Speech on his possible death In April 3, 1968, at Mason Temple ( Church of God

in Christ, Inc. – World Headquarters). In that speech "I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”, king claimed that he was in trouble with some of his ‘white brothers’ and said that Longevity has its place, but I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain! And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get

Martin Luther King Jr

there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And so I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I do not fear any man.


King also organized and led marches for blacks’ right to vote, desegregation, labor rights and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into United States law with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

After delivering on the mountain top speech, king did not last long since he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.


During his lifetime and the legacy he left behind, King has touched the lives of many people. Not only of blacks in America but of all blacks in Diaspora. Due to this king has won many awards both in life and death. Among the awards include: Being the youngest person to win the Nobel

Martin Luther King Jr

peace prize aged only 24, The Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights, presented by the Jamaican Government, posthumously in 1968, the 1971 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording for his Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam, the 1977 Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded posthumously to King by Jimmy Carter, and a handful of honorary degrees from many American universities and colleges.


Wikipedia the free encyclopedia (2007) retrieved on 23rd April, available at wiki/martin_luther_king

History of Martin Luther (2007), retrieved on 24th April, available at archonwashington.html

Hart ford (2007) the life of Luther king, retrieved on 24th April, available at

Barnes, Catherine A. (1983.) Journey from Jim Crow: The Desegregation of Southern Transit, C

olumbia University



The life of Martin Luther Jr (2007) retrieved on 23rd April, available at lk/bio.html

AFSCME (2007) I’ve Been to the Mountaintop" by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., retrieved on 24th April, available at


Martin Luther King Jr


[3] Barnes, Catherine A. (1983.) Journey from Jim Crow: The Desegregation of Southern

Transit,         Columbia University Press,