Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

by Jordan from San Diego


Youth leader, Israelmore Ayivor, said "True leaders are willing to die for their dreams. They don't oppress with ignorance; they impress with visions. They live like Martin Luther King Jr." (33 Quotes). This quote states that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was courageously willing to risk his life for his people. He was born in Atlanta Georgia on January 15th, 1929 to Martin Luther King and Alberta Williams. His father was a Baptist minister. This time period was during the Great Depression and the South was greatly segregated. "King studied at Morehouse College (Ga.) and Crozer Theological Seminary (Penn.). After receiving his Ph.D. from Boston University in 1955, he went to Montgomery, Ala., where he was pastor of a black church" (FactCite). A hero must possess the qualities of courage and determination to reach their success. Martin Luther King Jr. possesses leadership and courage; these two qualities are what make him a hero.

A hero must be able to lead people and Dr. King was a great leader.
"After receiving his degree when he was twenty-six, King was appointed pastor of the conservative Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where he gained notoriety by spearheading the successful 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott under the auspices of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA)" (St. James).

In the boycott Dr. King was able to convince the African Americans to not ride the buses. This was a hardship for them because now they had to walk miles to work. The boycott forced the buses to stop segregation or go bankrupt. Dr. King was successful leading the people of Montgomery. He was also successful when he "delivered what became his most memorable speech, as he addressed a quarter million people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C." (Lincoln Library Biographies). His I Have a Dream Speech was addressed to the entire nation. Dr. King was able to touch the hearts of the people and help them realize African American have the same hopes and dreams as white people do. Through his leadership Dr. King was able to close the gap between blacks and whites without violence.


One must also be courageous to be a hero. King went through extreme challenges and faced severe punishments while fighting for what he believed in. "The peaceful efforts of demonstrators were often met with violence, and on numerous occasions King and his family were threatened by white extremists. He was also arrested and jailed" (Lincoln Library Biographies). This shows that he was willing to accept punishments to eventually meet his goal of ending segregation. This proves his courageousness because having people threaten to murder or harm his family must have been extremely difficult and hard to live with. King was inspired by another man who was attempting to bring nonviolent change, "At times both his critics and supporters failed to understand how blacks could remain nonviolent in a country that spoke the language of violence. But King was persistent in following Mohandas K. Gandhi's philosophy, applied in India earlier in the twentieth century, that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom," (St. James). King refused to give up until he reached the success that Gandhi had achieved. He desired peace and civil rights for African Americans just as Gandhi had for the people of India. He is courageous because he led a nation through hardships without worry about the personal consequences he might have to face.

Dr. King inspires me because of his leadership, courage, and willingness to accomplish goals which were seemingly impossible to many. He is an inspiration to me for his powerful words and speeches. In his famous I Have a Dream Speech, he stated that "my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,"(Estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr). Martin Luther King Jr. will always be remembered for his leadership and courage.

"King, Martin Luther Jr." FactCite: Lincoln Library Biographies Online. Lincoln Lib. P, 2012. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. "Martin Luther King, Jr." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Detroit: Gale, 2013. Biography in Context. Web. 9 Feb. 2015.

Page created on 2/27/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/27/2015 12:00:00 AM

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Related Links - General info on MLK