Martin Luther King
|Doc. Martin Luther King|
King studied theology and received his Doctorate degree in 1953. Nearly a year after, he moved to Montgomery (Alabama) to preach at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, with his newly-wed wife, Coretta Scott.
After one year of boycotting the bus system, the Supreme Court declared that the Alabama state segregation law was unconstitutional. That was a great legal victory but it took many years before things really changed.
In 1957, for instance, President Eisenhower had to call 1,000 soldiers to escort 9 Black students and restore order in the previously all-White Central High in Little Rock (Arkansas). In 1962, two people were killed and many more injured as James Meredith was enrolled as the first Black at the University of Mississippi!
After a year of travelling and demonstrating across the country, King continued to organise non-violent protests against unequal treatment. Contrary to Malcolm X who encouraged people to be violent, King advocated peace.
In 1958, King published his first book, Stride Toward Freedom, which deals with his recollections of the Montgomery bus boycott.
In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated by James Earl Ray. His death did not slow down the Civil Rights Movement. His widow, Coretta, continued to fight for freedom with Black and White people.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan declared the third Monday in January a federal legal holiday commemorating Martin Luther King's birthday. King is the only Afro-American to have a legal holiday in America.
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