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Martin Luther King was an African-American civil rights activist, Baptist minister and the leader of the civil rights movement in 1956 – 1968. He was born on January 15, 1929, in Georgia. His name at birth was Michael King but his father later changed it to Martin Luther King in honor of the German reformer.
King was born at a time where racial segregation was very common in the United States and due to the racial humiliation, he became depressed. When he was 12 years old he tried committing suicide by jumping out a window but he luckily survived. King attended Booker T. Washington High school and he was so smart he skipped the ninth and twelfth grade. When King was only 15 he enrolled at Morehouse College, a private, all-male, historically African-American college after it announced that they would accept any high school juniors that could pass their entrance exam.
During his final semester in College, he chose to enter the ministry and he also wrote a letter to the editor of Atlanta Constitution in the letter he declared that African Americans were ”entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens”. He enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary after graduating from Morehouse with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. While King was at Crozer he fell in love with a white cafeteria worker and he wanted to marry her but friends advised against it partly because King’s father would frown upon an interracial marriage. King was so devastated after the heartbreak that one of his friends said that King never recovered.
In 1951 King began his doctoral studies at Boston University. While in Boston King started dating Coretta Scott and later married her in June 1953. On December 1, 1955, King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for 385 days. During the boycott, Martin was arrested but however, the boycott was a success because after that racial segregation ended in all Montgomery public buses. Kings role in the boycott transformed him into the best-known spokesman of the civil rights movement.
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