303. Martin Luther King Jr.: Civil Rights Leader

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the famous Americans ever. He was a pastor, and humanitarian, but is known mostly for being a rights activist. King was the leader of the -American Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 60s. use of non-violent protest to affect social change based on his Christian beliefs. King was born King, but his father changed his name in of the German reformer, Martin Luther.

King lived the most divisive era in American history. The and the southern culture in the United States nothing to do with social change during the . Segregation laws were in place that prohibited black from eating at the same restaurants as whites, to ride in the same section on public with white Americans. King led the famous 1955 Bus Boycott in reaction to Rosa Park's refusal surrender her bus seat to a white passenger was required by law in Montgomery, Alabama at time.

King started his activism while serving as Baptist minister for the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. believed strongly in the Christian belief that loving neighbor as yourself, which was a philosophy he throughout his civil rights years. He was also great speaker. His "I Have a Dream" speech regarded as one of the most famous oratory American history. In it, he speaks of how dream is for white and black Americans to together hand in hand as brothers. The speech declared how it was his dream for all to be judged, not by the color of skin, but by the content of their character.

October 14, 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Prize for his involvement in combating racial inequality the United States. He was assassinated in April, , in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 39.





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