Remembering the Dream

Lead Staff Reporter

Martin Luther King was a man of peace. A follower of Ghandi’s non-violent activism, he used the Christian teachings of love and forgiveness along with Ghandi’s peaceful protest and civil disobedience to sever the chains of racism and segregation that had long held the country from moving forward. It is ironic that an act of violence took him from this world fifty years ago this year.
Dr. King was many things to many people. He was both revered and feared. He was loved and hated. He was a man of God to some and to others, he was the opposite. It is characteristic of the small mind not to understand or recognize a man of brilliance.
The brilliance of King was to shine the light of truth on America’s darkness: racism. This did not go well with many people in his day and inconceivably, still does not with some people to this day. In doing so, King made the country a greater union where all men were created equal.
Born today in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, King was originally named Michael King. The elder King changed both his and his young son’s name in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther, after a trip to Berlin to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Conference in 1934. 
Early on, King was inspired by his father’s staunch refusals to be treated with inequality. His gift of public oration came early, most likely from watching ministers in his church speak passionately and with fervent emotion. By his mid-teens, his communication skills had become so renowned in school and he was on the debate team at Booker T. Washington High School. An extremely bright student, he skipped the ninth and the twelfth grades of high school and by 15, he had already enrolled at Morehouse College and by age 18 in 1947, had joined the ministry.
He married Coretta Scott in 1953 and the following year was made the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Alabama. King began doctoral studies in theology at Boston University and received his Ph.D . It was in that same pivotal year of 1955 that the Dr. King we know came to the fore of our national consciousness and conscience.
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