Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday the 16th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and people everywhere are off of school, and possibly work, to honor a man who fought for the rights of many. I thought it would be interesting today to highlight some of the life of the man known for his fight for civil rights. We all have a background, and that background shapes us into the people we are today.

MLK (Martin Luther King, Jr.) was actually born with the name Michael Luther King Jr. His dad intended for him to be named after Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformation leader, but there was a mix-up with the birth records.

After receiving a degree in theology, MLK pastored at Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta. He was the third member of his family to do so. He married Coretta Scott, and then moved to Birmingham, Alabama to pastor a church there. Martin Luther King Jr and his wife were both very involved in the civil rights movement. He led a 382 day bus boycott that led to him suffering abuse from segregationists and having his home bombed.

After numerous speeches, books, and traveling to spread the message of equality for all, MLK was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35. He was the youngest to achieve this honor. He went on to help African Americans fight for equality on the streets and in their jobs. One trip to Memphis, unfortunately, turned violent. Protestors marching about mistreatment at a sanitation job turned into looters, and MLK was forced to reschedule the protest after promises to keep their civil rights movement non-violent.

The rescheduled movement in April had issues getting kicked off. Martin Luther King Jr had a restraining order against him that had to be worked out in court. A friend came to his hotel room to let him know the results of that court battle, and then they were scheduled to go out to dinner. As he stepped onto his hotel balcony, MLK was shot and killed at the age of 39.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy lived on, and the civil rights movement continued to grow. Today, people of all races live together in our country, although there is still work to be done. We’ve come a long way from people being property and drinking from separate water fountains, but some still have a bad attitude about people of different ‘colors’.

MLK Day is a great day to come together and focus on being unified as human beings. As we study this man, his life, and his legacy, we can draw inspiration for how we should act towards others. Don’t just look at this as a day off of work, but learn something about the man behind the day.

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