Martin Luther King Jr.

by Braxton Hoff from Ranchview school

” We must accept finite disappointment but we must never lose infinite hope”

148290.mindmeisterI chose Martin Luther King Jr. because he is the person that changed racism for all humanity. “Who was Martin Luther King Jr.” is a biography written by Bonnie Bader, and is 107 pages long. The book starts when Martin was born in Atlanta, Georgia in the year 1929 and ends when he was assassinated in 1968. This book was published by Penguin Random House LLC, New York in 2008. The Author Bonnie Bader wrote this book for WHO HQ books and also published many other “ who was” books about other famous people that changed the world. The artwork on the cover was done by Nancy Harrison.

148291.fine art americaMartin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta Georgia on January 15, 1929, but at birth was actually named Michael after his dad. When Micheal was five his dad decided to change both their names to martin. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in Atlanta with his mom, dad, older sister, and younger brother in a large home and a nice neighborhood. Martin's father worked as a minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, His mother Alberta Williams King went to college which not many black women did back then. Martin Luther King Jr. learned when he started Elementary that black people were treated differently than white people when he and his best friend that was white had to go to different schools. Outside his school, he was very involved in his father's church, sang in the church choir, went to Sunday school, and made lots of friends. Right, when he started school he realized that whites and blacks had different water fountains and when he was picked up on the school bus he always had to sit at the back with the other black people. It took those experiences for him to realize how badly black people were treated compared to white people and he told himself that someday he would change that. When  Martin was in college he read an essay by Henry David Thoreau that said people have the right to disobey unjust laws. This got Martin thinking maybe he could also fight against laws that he thought were wrong. It was Martin's dream from a young age to change how black people were treated. Inspired by two college professors that were ministers and his father Martin decided to be a minister himself when he grew up. By becoming a minister he would be able to speak to lots of people about the racist laws and make a change. When Martin was young his father once took him to a shoe store to buy him a new pair of shoes. The store was empty but the white shopkeeper told them that they would have to wait in the back of the store. Martin’s father was very angry, and this was Martin Jr.’s first time seeing racism and being treated this way.

148292.googleMartin's biggest challenge in his life was racism and his desire to change the world so that everyone was treated equally no matter what their skin color was. The first thing he did to make these changes was to become a minister. The reason he became a minister was that he could reach many people through the church. He also organized large protests against racism against all different races, not just the black community. Martin also spoke to big groups of citizens all over the U.S.A. about equal treatment for all no matter their skin color. On December 1, 1955, a black woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to sit in the back of the bus. That event brought Martin and other black leaders together and they came up with a plan for a protest where all black people would stop riding the bus. That kind of protest is called a boycott, this boycott started on December 5, 1955, and lasted over a year. During the boycott, all the black people chose to walk, drive, or take a cab wherever they had to go. This made the white leaders in the government very angry so they made it more challenging by raising the price of the taxes so many black people could not afford it. The police also arrested Martin to scare him, and he had a firebomb thrown onto his porch. He was very scared and worried for his family but this did not stop him and he ended up changing the laws about the bus. Martin's strongest quality was his bravery and he demonstrated that by standing up to the police and fighting against the racist laws. Over his life, he was arrested 7 times, even though the police constantly arrested him that did not stop him from continuing to make his dream come true that all people would be treated the same. One example of Martins's bravery was when he was speaking to a group of freedom riders in a church when a crowd of people outside started throwing stones and bottles at the church. Martin bravely encouraged them to stay calm and be strong. Martin was knowledgeable and studied very hard, he even skipped two grades and graduated from school at 15 years old. Martin also was a very peaceful man, he never responded to the violence that came to him with violence, and his protests were always peaceful. He was even awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1964 for showing the world that people can fight with words not fists. The book does not mention any faults or weaknesses of Martin, only the terrible racism he faced. The saddest thing that happened to Martin was when he was assassinated by a white man named James Earl Ray on June 8, 1968. In addition to the Nobel Peace prize, Martin also changed many laws and passed bills allowing equal rights to all races. The U.S.A. even created a holiday on the third Monday of every January to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.s life accomplishments. 

I was surprised to learn how Martin and other black people were treated back in the 1950s and ’60s. If I was available to meet Martin Luther King Jr. I would ask these three questions: 

1. How did it feel to win the Nobel peace prize?

2. Did you get nervous when you were speaking in front of all those people?

3. How did it feel to be the man to change racism forever?

I wouldn't want to be Martin's kid because his family was treated horribly by the police and people that didn't like what he was doing, so it would have scared them a lot. I think that the book I read was very good because it was easy for kids to understand and it was only 100 pages long. One of the things I learned in the book was about the racist laws that were nicknamed Jim Crow laws. They were called that because of a white performer who painted his face black and danced around making fun of the black people and singing a song saying “I’m Jim Crow”. I also learned that black people had to do things like drink from a separate water fountain, ride in the back of the bus, and even had to go to different schools. A great lesson that I learned from Martin is that you can fight with words and not fists. I can take this lesson in my life to be more peaceful and not react with violence when I am faced with a problem. I think others would like this book because it is about peaceful protesting and it's a good book to learn about Martin from birth to death. I am very happy that I chose Martin Luther King Jr. to learn about because he was brave and inspiring, and he had a dream and he accomplished it in a calm way. I think he is an excellent role model and someone to look up to as a man who made a real change in the world through his protest and his powerful words.


Page created on 5/25/2022 2:27:36 PM

Last edited 5/25/2022 2:51:10 PM

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