Biography of Martin Luther King | Baptist Pastor.

(Martin Luther King Jr.;) Atlanta, 1929 - Memphis, 1968) American Baptist Pastor, civil rights advocate. The long struggle of black Americans to reach the fullness of rights met from 1955 an acceleration whose leadership was to highlight the young pastor Martin Luther King very soon. His non-violent action, inspired by the example of Gandhi, mobilized a growing portion of the African-American community culminating in the summer of 1963 in the historic March on Washington, which attracted 250,000 demonstrators.

Martin Luther King
There, at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King uttered the most famous and poignant of his splendid speeches, known for the formula that was headed by the vision of a just world: I have a dream (I have a dream). Despite the arrests and police or racist attacks, the movement for civil equality was booting court rulings and legislative decisions against racial segregation, and Nobel Peace Prize awarded gained the endorsement of the prize to King in 1964. Unfortunately, a fatal destiny seems to drag the Apostles of non-violence: just like his master Gandhi, Martin Luther King fell murdered four years later.
Son of a Baptist Minister, Martin Luther King studied theology at Boston University. From a young age he became aware of the situation of social and racial segregation in which lived the blacks in your country, and especially those in the southern States. Become Baptist pastor, in 1954 took over a church in the city of Montgomery, Alabama.
Very soon gave signs of his charisma and his determination to fight for the defense of civil rights with peaceful methods, inspired in the figure of Mahatma Gandhi and the theory of civil disobedience of Henry David Thoreau. In August 1955, a humble black seamstress Rosa Parks, was arrested and fined for sitting in the section reserved for whites of a bus; King addressed a mass boycott of more than one year against segregation on city buses.

With his wife, Coretta Scott, and their first daughter (1956)
Martin Luther King fame quickly spread throughout the country and immediately assumed the leadership of the U.S. anti-war movement, first through the Southern Cristian Leadership Conference and later of the Congress of Racial Equality. In addition, as a member of the Association for the progress of the people of Color, it opened another front to achieve improvements in their living conditions.
In 1960 he took a spontaneous black students in Birmingham, Ala., sit-in to start a nationwide campaign. On this occasion, Martin Luther King was imprisoned and later freed by the intercession of John Fitgerald Kennedy, then candidate for President of the United States, but managed to blacks equal access to libraries, dining rooms and parking lots.
In the summer of 1963, their struggle reached one of their highlights to lead a huge March on Washington in which about 250,000 people, before which made the speech today participated entitled I have a dream (I have a dream), a beautiful speech in favour of peace and equality among human beings. King and other representatives of anti-racist organizations were welcomed by President Kennedy, who vowed to speed up its policy against the segregacionismo in schools and the issue of unemployment, which affects the black community in particular.

Martin Luther King addresses the crowd at the March on Washington (1963)
However, neither the good intentions of the President, who would die months later, murdered or vigor ethical message of Martin Luther King, Nobel Prize for peace in 1964, seemed sufficient to contain the advance of the nationalist groups of color oppose integration and conducive to violence, such as black power, Black Panthers and Black Muslims. The permeability of the color (mostly those living in the ghettos of New York and other Northern States) the influence of these violent groups endangering the core of the message of King, pacifism.
In March 1965, he led a rally of thousands of supporters of civil rights that traveled nearly a hundred kilometers, from Selma, where there had been acts of racial violence, to Montgomery. The struggle of Martin Luther King had a tragic end: on April 4, 1968 was assassinated in Memphis by James Earl Ray, a white common criminal. While held his funeral at the Church Edenhaeser of Atlanta, a wave of violence spread across the country. Ray, arrested by the police, acknowledged author of the murder and was sentenced with circumstantial evidence. Years later he retracted his statement, and with the support of the King family, requested the reopening of the case and the sight of a new trial.
Work and ideology
Martin Luther King understood as essential human dignity, racial equality, which was moreover legitimized at the political level, by the principles of American democracy (which always declared supporter), and on a moral level, by religious principles. Consequently, the action aimed at the conquest of their rights not was to be seen ever as revolutionary or subversive. King proclaimed no violation of the law, they argued that they can not they can obey unjust laws, because they are opposed to the moral law. The way of love as opposed to the inactivity of black liabilities and exasperated hatred of nationalists pointed out. And I had pain has not been helped and understood by the white Church.
In this sense, King adapted and Nobel Peace developed the concept of Gandhi's non-violence, who knew how to apply creatively in a series of antisegregacionistas campaigns that they became the most prestigious leader of the American civil rights movement, they earned the award in 1964 for the prize and caused his assassination at the hands of a fanatical racist in 1968. After his death, the U.S. black movement undertook a more openly revolutionary and violent, path away from the Christian and liberal inspiration of King, whose memory, despite everything, is still revered and loved by the masses of disenfranchised of their race.
The same year of the Nobel, President Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy's successor after the assassination, enacted the Civil Rights Act, enshrining the equality of all citizens. According to King, blacks had to abandon his abstract political neutrality to strengthen electoral alliances and support trustworthy candidate, because "the influence of blacks in political power is important". Only then the true goal of freedom, would be achieved because the fate of blacks is joined to the America.
Its principles were expressed, in addition to in the famous letter from Birmingham jail (1963, published by the French magazine Esprit in 1964), numerous works including the force of love (Strength to Love, 1965) and the Clarion of conscience (The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968), in which often his prose, inspired by the biblical tradition of Anglo-Saxon Protestantism It achieves moments of high emotion and humanity.
Deserves special mention, why we can't wait (Why We Can't Wait, 1964), in so far as the exposure of their political creed alternating this work with a passionate evocation of the events of the summer of 1963 (lived by the author himself as the protagonist) of great value as historical testimony. The book is the story of the liberation of a people, obtained through the use of "a powerful and just weapon... which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who holds it": non-violence.
I have a dream
Despite the value of his written work, none of his writings aroused universal admiration of the most famous of his speeches: that delivered on August 28, 1963 to the 250,000 members of the March on Washington, at the foot of the monument to Abraham Lincoln, the President who, a century earlier, had abolished slavery: "a hundred years ago, a great American Bass whose symbolic shadow we are today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree appeared as a large floodlight of hope for millions of slaves that had been marked with the fire of a flagrant injustice. It came as jubilant dawn of the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, America's color is still not free."
I have a dream [fragment]. Subtitled in Spanish.
Washington, August 28, 1963.
Considered a masterpiece of oratory, the name that this speech is known comes from its central part, where the reiterating the formula I have to dream (I have a dream), Martin Luther King to the ideal condition raises the simple realization of equality: "A dream that my four little children will live one day in a nation where not be judged them by the color of their skin but by the qualities of their character". Valuable both as condensed expression of its principles and its impressive emotional height, its validity is stirring more than half a century later.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

Recommended Contents