Martin Luther King

Essay by H4ck3l2Middle School, 6th gradeB, December 2006

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Martin Luther King (1929-1968)

Luther was born in Atlanta USA, where he studied to be a church minister like his father and to preach at his fathers church. He leaves to study at Boston University where he received a doctorate in theology. In 1954 he became minister in his own town of Montgomery in the Southern State of Alabama.

At that time black people were treated badly and Alabama was the worst: they had to attend different schools and even had to sit on different parts of the bus. There was even a white organisation called the Ku Klux Klan who hunted down black people. They wore white cloaks and pointy white hoods.

In 1956 a black woman refused to give her seat to a white person and she was arrested later on that year. Black people then refused to go on buses as a form of non-violent protest lead by Luther.

The police turned high-powered hoses on the demonstrators. The powerful jets of water knocked the people down. The demonstrators then tried to fight back but the police released fierce dogs in the crowd. The next day people from all over USA saw this and were shocked. Then President Kennedy adapted some of the demonstrator's demands. Before the Protest, Luther said: "We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice".

The authorities then fought back and put Luther in jail. There he wrote a letter which said "You may well ask: Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation...