Monday, January 15, 2007

Dr. Martin Luther King

1929—68, American clergyman and civil-rights leader, b. Atlanta, Ga., grad. Morehouse College (B.A., 1948), Crozer Theological Seminary (B.D., 1951), Boston Univ. (Ph.D., 1955). The son of the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, King became (1954) minister of the Dexter Ave. Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. He led the black boycott (1955—56) of segregated city bus lines and in 1956 gained a major victory and prestige as a civil-rights leader when Montgomery buses began to operate on a desegregated basis.

King organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which gave him a base to pursue further civil-rights activities, first in the South and later nationwide. His philosophy of nonviolent resistance led to his arrest on numerous occasions in the 1950s and 60s. His campaigns had mixed success, but the protest he led in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963 brought him worldwide attention. He spearheaded the Aug., 1963, March on Washington, which brought together more than 200,000 people.

In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.King's leadership in the civil-rights movement was challenged in the mid-1960s as others grew more militant. His interests, however, widened from civil rights to include criticism of the Vietnam War and a deeper concern over poverty. His plans for a Poor People's March to Washington were interrupted (1968) for a trip to Memphis, Tenn., in support of striking sanitation workers.

On Apr. 4, 1968, he was shot and killed as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel (since 1991 a civil-rights museum).

James Earl Ray, a career criminal, pleaded guilty to the murder and was convicted, but he soon recanted, claiming he was duped into his plea. Ray's conviction was subsequently upheld, but he eventually received support from members of King's family, who believed King to have been the victim of a conspiracy. Ray died in prison in 1998. In a jury trial in Memphis in 1999 the King family won a wrongful-death judgment against Loyd Jowers, who claimed (1993) that he had arranged the killing for a Mafia figure. Many experts, however, were unconvinced by the verdict, and in 2000, after an 18-month investigation, the Justice Dept. discredited Jowers and concluded that there was no evidence of an assassination plot.

King wrote Stride toward Freedom (1958), Why We Can't Wait (1964), and Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967). His birthday is a national holiday, celebrated on the third Monday in January. King's wife, Coretta Scott King, has carried on various aspects of his work. She also wrote My Life with Martin Luther King (1989)


DEN said...

Dr. King was the model for many that would follow in his footsteps.

He leaves behind a dream that anyone willing to look can follow.

A dream of oneness of man to work together to eliminate poverty and promote peace.

It is all about getting along with one another without predisposed attitudes to skin color, or any other dividing force.

No doubt where he would stand against the Iraq war and all other wars we still cannot seem to get away from fighting.

If we waged peace as eagerly we wage war, this world would be a far
better place.

Jeanne said...

I wish we had a MLK to spur people on to MARCH, MARCH, MARCH on Washington DC.

DEN said...

Jean, Move is doing just that.

Go here->

For the info.

DEN said...

Jeanne, spelling not good on Mondays!

Saladin said...

DEN, maybe we are under assault by BRAINWORMS!

Jeanne said...

Here's a really good article.

The collapse of the Bush presidency poses risks

Here's a few line from it.

In a characteristically perceptive Op-Ed in this morning's Washington Post, Dahlia Lithwick makes the point that Bush's extremist actions -- such as Jose Padilla's detention, the Guantanamo abuses, and omnipotence-declaring signing statements -- have no real objective except one: "The object is a larger one: expanding executive power, for its own sake."

DEN said...

Jeanne now I am even more convinced bush is a psycho, who would even want the guy over for dinner?

He obviously has those brainworms and bad.

I cannot understand why he is still there.

David B. Benson said...

Weather. Yes, weather. Locally it appears we are finally, long after predicted, going to warm up a little.

Predictions: Yesterday am I cecked the local weather on Predicted high: 19 F. Predicted low: 14 F. Current temperature: 12 F. Go figure...

Now it is not that cold in the eastern 1/2 of the country. But over 300,000 people are without electrical power. Yikes!

That this sort of thing would occur was predicted at the end of the last century. Has bushco done anything to prevent it? Nope, just more "Heckof job, Brownie!"

Bitterly (not not from the cold today),

DEN said...

David, there are bush priorities way up the list from global warming, like making himself and his buddies rich at our expense.

I hear the weather in Paraguay is delightful!

Alan said...

The cold weather is finally reaching us way down south at the Gulf Coast. 30° at the moment, which is really quite cold. I'm not kidding either... the guys I worked construction with years ago... the ones from New York, Chicago, Detroit, etc., were just as cold as us. They didn't believe it got cold here, but it does, no matter what the numbers are. On the news today, there was a lady visiting from Minn. and she said "this is terrible!" from being cold. It's the humidity I guess, cause the cold PENETRATES. "brrrrr"