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Biographical History of Martin Luther King Jr Essay

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Updated: Aug 6th, 2021

Early life

It should be known that Martin Luther King Jr was born on January 19th 1929. As a matter of fact, he died on the April 4th 1968 (Clarke 23). Although he was born as Michael he later on changed his name to Martin. The family’s long dominance as pastors was started by his grandfather in Atlanta. Martin Luther King’s father could later on serve as a pastor from 1931 (Reddick 37).

In addition, Martin also served as a co-pastor until his death. It should be known that he attended various segregated schools before graduating from college in 1948. He later on attended a theological school in 1951 (Reddick 29). As a matter of fact, he married his wife in Boston where he had gone for studies.

Coretta Scot- who was his wife- had uncommon attainments as far as intellectual skills are concerned and they together had four children. Martin became a pastor in 1954 while he was just 25 years old. As time went by, he became an important leader and activist as far as the civil rights movement in America is concerned.

Martin Luther King Jr later on established himself as a strong brand name and iconic figure in the US and other parts of the world. Everybody around the world agrees that he was a heroic leader that contributed to the modern America.

He used nonviolent methods in advancing his civil rights ideas. In this case, he can be boldly referred to as one of the best orators that the country has ever had. All in all, King received the Nobel peace price in 1964 becoming the youngest person to get the award (Clarke 45).

This was done to appreciate his work of ending racial discrimination in the country. While doing this, he used nonviolent ways and means thereby being recognized. King was inspired by Gandhi’s success thereby visiting his birthplace in 1959 because he also used nonviolent activism. This is what turned him around thereby enhancing his commitment to the civil rights movement.

His work

The most renowned influence on Martins life was Howard Thurman. This is because he was his fathers’ classmate and thereby had a great impact on the future Martin. Another person who had an impact on Martin was Bayard Rustin who mentored the young man on non-violence activism.

As a matter of fact, Rustin was his main advisor and mentor in his activism life. The 1963 Washington march was a great success because of Rustin’s plans and organization skills (Wintle 29). As far as his career is concerned, he spoke frequently and openly because of his experience as a pastor. In 1955, he organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott that lasted for a lot of days (Reddick 41).

The result of this boycott was an end to open racial segregation that had been practiced for years. King is credited for starting the Southern conference that was supposed to promote moral authority.

This conference was also supposed to bring together black churches so that they can conduct nonviolent protests. As a matter of fact, he led the conference and group until his death. He narrowly escaped death in 1958 after being stabbed on the chest by a black woman (Wintle 54).

King was wiretapped by the FBI because they thought that what he was advancing for was likely to cause some civil strife in the country. This was done under the direction of the then attorney general of the country. Throughout his life, King organized various protests that were aimed at increasing the rights of blacks to vote.

In the long run, most of these rights were enacted in the country’s laws. Martin was very strategic when choosing places and methods that could be used to organize protests around the country and that is why he was successful.

The Albany movement is another initiative that later on attracted a lot of national attention through its nonviolent activities. Kings most notable achievement was the march to Washington that was done in 1963 (Clarke 52). As a matter of fact, this march was done to demand for freedom and better jobs in the country.

The organizers wanted to denounce the governments stand on various things and there was no other better place to do this than the country’s capital. As much as there were various tensions prior to this, it was successful. Martins’ speech on that day has become one of the best speeches that the country has ever had. King wanted people to be compensated for the historical wrongs that had been committed on them and this is a stance that he out rightly maintained.

Sunset years and death

In 1968, he went to support black employees who had been on a strike in Tennessee. This is because they were protesting for better treatment and good wages that were being advanced to their white counterparts. As a matter of fact, his flight had to be delayed because of a bomb threat in April 968.

He was assassinated while at the Lorraine Motel and this is where he loved going. It has been documented that he was shot and assassinated while on the balcony of the motel on April 4th at around 6.01pm. Martin Luther King Jr was then later on pronounced dead at 7.05 pm. This was at the St Josephs hospital after undergoing a chest operation (Clarke 66).

His assassination led to a lot of riots that were witnessed throughout the country. As a matter of fact, a national day of morning was declared by the president on April 7th. Later on, James Earl Ray who killed Martin Luther King Jr was sentenced to 99 years in prison. There have been a lot of allegations of conspiracy as far as Martins death is concerned, but this is always expected.

What can be learned from the great communicators of today or yesterday?

The great communicators of yesterday or today have a lot of things that can be leant by the present generation. This is based on various things that they did but still have a lot of relevance to our daily lives. Great communicators like Martin Luther King Jr and Reagan had a lot of qualities and unique characteristics that made them distinct.

In this case, there is something that made them to be unique in what they were doing and how they were communicating all along (Wintle 92). Great communicators had skills of talking evocatively meaning that they could use anecdotes that common people could not understand.

In this case, one had to dig in deep to understand what they were really saying. This is something that can be learned because an individual has to be good at what he is saying. Great communicators should do things that will ultimately make the whole society great as time goes by.

We can all agree that great communicators had and still have a skills and optimism that enabled them to advance their ideas well. In this case, they will always speak of the future in anticipation of good things to come by. This is very good because we should always anticipate for good things so that we can lay a good ground and foundation that will make such things possible.

Great communicators of yesterday talked generally about the future in the outer space and why everybody should be there. This has also been replicated by today’s great communicators like Barrack Obama who have renewed the hope of people by focusing on a great future.

This is a very important lesson that can be helpful in today’s society that has a lot of challenges that need to be dealt with renewed optimism and hope (Wintle 96). In this case, we need to be optimistic and hopeful in all that we do. This can be enhanced by paying more attention to the people that we are talking to who also happen to be our audience.

Great communicators both of today and yesterday have always talked and revolved around a sense of country. This therefore gives us a sense of belonging. For instance, Charles de Gaulle was a great communicator and instead of him being in France, France as a country was in him.

This tells us that the greatest path towards being a great communicator is to have a sense of belonging and identity. This will therefore enable us to connect well with where we are coming from and where we are going to as a society. You can not be a great communicator unless you stand for something and this is as fact.

Martin Luther King Jr was a great communicator because he stood against racial discrimination in the society and this is what he was advancing and advocating for (Clarke 76). On the other hand, Barrack Obama is a great communicator because he stood for change that Americans were really yearning for.

You can not be a great communicator unless you talk about issues. This is the starting point because there is nobody who will listen to you unless you are talking about what they want to hear. Just as an example, Martin Luther King Jr was talking about a real issue of racial discrimination and inequalities in the society and that is why people were able to listen to him because it was a reality (Clarke 66).

This is a good lesson because we first of all need to identify what is bedeviling us as a society. Good communicators both of today and yesterday should be able to fight for what they believe in without any problem. This should be done passionately because if you believe in something, you will go fort it without any lay back.

As much as you might loose your life fighting for what you believe in, it will not go in vain because somebody will always appreciate what you did. Humility is a very important character as far as being a good communicator is concerned. This will enable people to communicate and connect easily with others thereby advancing your ideas without any problem.

Works Cited

Clarke, James. Defining danger: American assassins and the new domestic terrorists. New York: Transaction Publishers, 2005. Print.

Reddick, Lawrence. Crusader without Violence: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Harper, 1959. Print.

Wintle, Justin. Makers of Modern Culture: Makers of Culture. New York: Routledge, 2001. Print.

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