Martin Luther King was an American Baptist minister and an activist who was the most prominent spokesperson and leader during the Civil Rights Movement. He was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Both his parents were African American, and he also had Irish ancestry through his paternal great-grandfather.
King was a middle child, between a younger brother and an older sister. King used to sing with his church choir. He was a big fan of singing and music. Growing up King befriended a white boy when they turned six and started school, King had to attend an African-American school, but the white boy went for the one for whites. King lost his friend because the child’s father didn’t want them to play together.
He was not in favor of using violence based on his Christian beliefs he supported civil disobedience and nonaggressive activism of Mahatma Gandhi. Due to his nonviolent resistance, he received the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14, 1964, for combating racial inequality. As a man of God, he believed nonviolence was essential. He is also the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He was also awarded at least fifty honorary degrees from colleges and universities. There are several monuments to King in the United States including more than 73 cities in United States have streets after him.
However, on July 27, 1962, Martin Luther King was arrested for violating a state circuit court injunction against protests. He led a march on the same day in Birmingham. Birmingham was a hard place for blacks in 1963. Everything was separated, from churches to libraries to businesses. Blacks encountered constant discrimination and constant threat of violence. He was sentenced to forty-five days in prison or a $178 fine. He chose prison. Police Chief Laurie Pritchett organized for his fine to be paid and ordered his release. He was held for three days in the jail.
While Martin Luther was in prison, he wrote a letter to a newspaper. In his letter, he explained why he had broken the law. “I am here because injustice is here,” he further wrote “ I would agree with Saint Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all.” But King was always willing to go to prison for the cause of civil rights.
King was fatally shot by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968. After an emergency chest surgery, King died at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 7:05 p.m.