MArtin Luther King

Essay by Jack, March 2006

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Martin Luther King was born on 15th January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, a city in the south of the US. He was named after his father and the family (parents, grandmother and brother and sister) called him ML for short - a nickname that stuck with him all through his childhood.

Growing up with racism.

Every day, little things made it clear to him that to be black was to be a permanent second-class citizen. For instance, when he was only a little boy he was told to suddenly stop playing with his two white friends. Their mother sent him home explaining that they were getting too old to play with a black child. Martin's parents explained to him that he should never believe he was different and stupid, because he wasn't. Martin was still deeply hurt though and the children who had been happy to be his friends were set on the road to believing that all black people were different and inferior.

As a black person Martin could only use certain drinking fountains and toilets; the others had signs in front of them saying 'whites only'. If he wanted an ice cream cone he was sent to a side window outside the shop. When he wanted to see a film, he couldn't sit downstairs - that was reserved for whites - but had to go up to the back balcony.blacks and whites did not go to school together, or use the same public library or the same parks. Blacks never lived in white areas. Maya Angelou, a famous black writer, says that when she was a little girl in the south, she just didn't realise white people were human beings like black people; they seemed so remote and strange.

Martin's family.

Martin's father was a pastor, at...