Tan Nguyen



"I have a Dream...that one day live in a nation where [people] will be not judge by the colored of their
skin..." are the famous words of Martin Luther King Jr. to hope one day he can change how different races treated each other in the United States of America, in around the mid 1950s. King, a brave soul, fought for human justice and civil rights to end racism. He spoke inspirational words that showed everybody that all races in America deserved to have the same level of importance. If it is not for King sacrifice for reuniting American citizens together America would be a different place today.

Personal Background

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia (Szalay). His original birth name was Michael King Jr., but was later changed to
Martin Luther King Jr. based after the 16th century German church reformer Martin Luther. He came in a middle class family. King ‘s parents were well college-educated. In the family, he was a middle child between an older sister, Willie Christine King and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King (David). King liked singing music when he was young, so he sang with a church choir and received attention for singing “I Want To Be More Like Jesus”. When he was 12 years old his grandmother died of a heart attack. Because of the deep connection, King blamed himself for her death, so he jumped out from a two-story building to commit suicide, but survived. Growing up in Atlanta he entered public school at a very young age; he was very smart. King skipped both the ninth and eleventh grades and attended Morehouse College at age 15, in 1944 (Martin). He became known for his speaking ability. He met a very important person in his life, Coretta Scott. On June 18, 1953 on the lawn of Scott parent’s house in her hometown of Heiberger, Alabama
, King married to her. They had four children: Yolanda King, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King, and Bernice King (Kirk). King was a Baptist minister and a social activist (David). He led a group called the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to “…harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct nonviolence protests in the service of the civil rights reform” (David). King believed that organized, nonviolent protest against the system of southern segregation would lead to extensive media coverage of the struggle for the black equality and voting rights. On April 4, 1968 he was assassinated.


Personality Traits

Martin Luther King, a person who cares for human justice, had many traits that revealed his heart to his people. When he was a child his father regularly whipped and punished him brutally, and yet he doesn’t grow up with a tough attitude (Kirk). King had much of warm-heart love for his parents. When his grandma died King felt depressed and miserable. Growing up, his passion was always to fights for civil rights. This passion led him to do excellent job in school making King a very smart person (Lewis). He also had a leadership and quality in him that made him lead a group to protest for equality and freedom in Montgomery.


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Growing up in Atlanta, Martin Luther King had a rough life. As a child, King faced his father brutal whipped every time he did something wrong (Jessie). King suffered from depression because of the things had happened in his life. He lost one of the most valued people in his life, his grandmother. At the time, racism was the big conflict. In the south he is considered “black” or “colored-skin” (Lewis). He was not allowed to make friends with any people that considered “white- skin.” When King grew up he always have a passion to fight for civil rights for the people of his kind. He led a group called Montgomery Bus Boycott. This group tried to protest against the segregation, but failed terribly. After, the police arrested King and the members of his group; the segregationists bombed King’s home (Lewis). King has to face many obstacles in his life that made him an important person to America


Historical Significance

Martin Luther King Jr, a very delicate man that was known for fighting civil rights using nonviolent protests, led numerous groups of private organization to different places to call out true freedom and equality to everyone. One of the most recognized protests from him was the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. After Rosa Park was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man, the Bus Boycott led by King planned a strike to support her. This event caused so much trouble and hatred that it angered the segregation. This led to the bombing of Martin Luther king’s home making his entire house to be burning down as revenge from the segregation (Kirk). The boycott lasted only for 385 days and King then was arrested during this mission (Kelly). Luckily, thanks to King’s effort for leading the protest, it awoke the United States Public Court to end all racial segregation in Montgomery public buses. King’s role in the bus boycott turned him into a national figure and the best-known spokesman of the civil rights movement (Simkin).

“I Have A Dream” was one of the Martin Luther King’s famous speeches in American history of oratory (Kirk). He wanted to ask for peace to the nation composed of numerous organizations. On August 28, 1963 King and his followers were at the Lincoln Memorial to demonstrate the speech. This civil rights agitation produced a strong affect on public opinion (Szalay). American citizens, who do not go through racial tension, began to question themselves of how unfairly they’re treating the African-American citizens. In 1964, the federal government enforced a Act to the public that outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities (Szalay). King then won the Noble Peace Prize in 1964.


C., Shazzy. "Marin Luther King Biography." International People. 5 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

Kelly, Martin. "Martin Luther King Jr." About education. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

Kirk, John A. "Martin Luther King Jr. (1929- 1968)." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 6 Aug. 2014. Web. 2 Oct. 2014.

Lewis, David. "Martin Luther King Jr." Britannica. 20 Aug. 2014. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.

Simkin, John."Martin Luther King." Spartacus Education. Aug. 2014. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.

Szalay, Jessie."Martin Luther King Jr: Biography, Speeches & Quotes." Live Science. 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.