Luther King’s Story

Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. jumped out of a second-story window at age 12.
  2. He allegedly attempted suicide after he was traumatized by the death of his grandmother Jennie.
  3. That incident was King’s second suicide attempt before the age of 13.
  4. King was an extremely sensitive child who suffered from numerous bouts of severe depression.
  5. The racial discrimination and abuses suffered by the boy’s family and community impacted him deeply.
  6. Yet at school, King was a brilliant student.
  7. He skipped grades 9 and 11, and graduated from high school at age 15.
  8. He earned a sociology degree at age 19 and his Ph.D. in systematic theology at 26.
  9. At 24, he married aspiring singer and musician Coretta Scott.
  10. They would eventually have four children together.
  11. In 1956, King’s house was bombed, a year after he lead a boycott to protest the segregated bus system in Montgomery, Alabama.
  12. The protest was spurred by a 15 year-old black girl who refused to give up her seat to a white man.
  13. It was that campaign that first brought the 26 year-old Baptist minister to national attention.
  14. At 30, King visited India to study Gandhi’s philosophy and strategies of non-violent civil disobedience.
  15. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  16. Then in 1963, King was arrested and jailed while leading anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Alabama.
  17. In prison, he writes the famous Letter from Birmingham City Jail, arguing that citizens have a moral duty to disobey unjust laws.
  18. Later that year, King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington, attended by 200,000 protesters.

19 . In 1964, Congress passes the Civil Rights Act, outlawing segregation and racial discrimination in employment and education.

  1. King is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize that year in recognition of his role in furthering racial equality.
  2. He then championed issues of voting rights, economic injustices and inequalities in his final years.
  3. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, sparking riots in more than 100 U.S. cities.
  4. Martin Luther King Jr. is today revered the world over as an icon of justice and equality, and one of the 20th century’s defining figures.

24. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Martin Luther King Jr.