Martin Luther King Jr. (1EMA) Group ①

by Karina's Students


Comic Panel 1
Julia Fernandes, Laura Gerchman, Davi Coelho, Alexandre de Azevedo e Miguel Liao
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, where he spent most of his life. During this period, he lived in a segregated society. The religious influence he received and his studies in politics allowed him to make great changes in the world, such as approving laws against social inequalities that made him an important historical figure.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th, 1929, in Atlanta (capital of Georgia, USA). Amongst his sister and brother, he used to hear biblical stories told by their grandmother, besides reading out loud Bible versicles. Indiscipline was punished austerely: their father did not hesitate to whip him. In 1935 he joined the Yonge Street Elementary School, solely for black kids - right before a white street friend was forbidden from meeting or playing with him. Martin had a long discussion with his parents about the USA’s history of slavery and structural racism, enraged until becoming “determined to hate all white people”, but his family instructed him about the Christian duty to love everyone. The boy witnessed Michael King Sr., his father, defying the systemic segregation and discrimination of races in Atlanta. Growing up, Martin attended church with his mother, singing biblical hymns and operas while playing piano. He learned a wide vocabulary due to dictionary reading and resorted to speeches to avoid physical fights with other boys in his neighborhood - a signaling of his future promise in public speaking and debates.
   In May of 1941, his maternal grandmother died of a heart attack, and Martin blamed himself because he had gone to watch a parade instead of study. Thinking it was a punishment of God, he tried suicide, but his father consoled him and moved the family to another house. Still that year, he entered the Washington High School, the only university for Afro-Americans in Atlanta, founded under the claim of local black leaders. During Sunday School, the 13-year-old child submerged in a skeptical phase, denying the physical resurrection of Jesus. Bombarded by doubts, he could not feel the emotion for religion he observed in common people. At the age of 15, the young Martin was admitted to Morehouse College, which had few students in classrooms due to the military enlistment required by the Second World War.
In 1948, at just 19 years old, Martin was already the assistant pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, and he also graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. (bachelor of arts, more specifically in the social sciences) in sociology. During his graduation, he met his wife, Coretta King, who he married and had four children with. After that, he participated in the Crozer Theological Seminary, in Pennsylvania. During this time, he was also enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania . As a result of his dedication and outstanding performance, he won the J. Lewis Crozer fellowship which allowed him to study in another university where he chose to do his doctorate degree in Systematic theology at Boston University. After finishing his studies, he worked as a pastor from 1954 to 1959 in the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Afterwards, he returned to Atlanta to lead the Southern Christian Leadership.
In this post (1959) he devoted most of his time to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the civil rights movement, declaring that the “psychological moment has come when a concentrated drive against injustice can bring great, tangible gains.”.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for his benefactions to the American civil rights movement in the 1960s. His most famous work is the “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered in 1963, in which he talked about his dream of a country (United States) free of segregation and racism. King also promoted peaceful methods of protest and organized countless marches, the Montgomery bus boycott.

The trigger of that movement was an incident that happened on December 1, 1955, in which Rosa Parks, an African American woman, after she refused to abdicate from her bus seat to a white passenger was arrested for violating the city’s segregation law. Activists created the Montgomery Improvement Association to boycott the transit system and proposed that King should assume as the leader. As he accepted, he declared “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.”. Despite the fact that because of the speech he and his family started to be threatened, he continued to lead the project. On December 20, 1966 the protest ended with the Us supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. Martin Luther King stood up and became one of the leaders at the protest.
Afterwards, he became president of SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) which he led until the day of his tragic death. During his lifetime, he received multiple awards such as The Nobel Peace Prize, Grammy Hall of Fame, Congress gold medal among others of extreme importance. He was so relevant that he still remains the most universally well-known African American leader of his epoch. There is a holiday honoring King, the MLK Day of Service, a reflection of his legacy addressing social problems through joint action. Many states have adopted King's holiday, authorized public statues and paintings of him, and named streets, schools, and other entities after him. That shows how relevant he was during his life span and still is.  
Many books and articles reaffirmed his historical importance featuring him as a complex and polemical figure: able to collapse. Yet most sources portray him as an example and idealistic. He is considered by many as a true leader who was committed to achieving social justice through passive actions. 
King’s life has been interpreted in new ways by lots of generations of scholars, many of whom have drawn attention to the crucial role of local Black leaders in the African American protest movements of the 1950s and 1960s. Recognizing that bedrock activists such as Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth, and others prepared the way for King’s rise to national recognition, biographers and historians have questioned the view that Southern Black protest movements, which relied on he's charismatic guidance. However, studies of him continue to recognize his distinctive leadership role, for example in the Montgomery bus boycott.
Broadly speaking, his most significant contribution to the modern African American freedom struggle was to link Black aspirations to above normality, widely shared democratic and Christian ideals. Furthermore, he inspired people, making them believe that their cause was reasonable, attracting many people from different cultures. His strategy of hilighting nonviolent protest and interracial cooperation provided him the ability to fight efficientlty against the Southern system of legalized racial segregation and discrimination, but it also proved inadequate during his final years as he desired to overcome racial and economic problems that were national in extension.

Unfortunately, this huge activist was shot on 4th April of 1968 at the Lorraine Motel balcony by James Earl Ray. An hour later, he died at St. Joseph’s hospital. Because of his death, in the United States, the third Monday of January every year started to be considered as a national holiday in 1986.
Martin Luther King famous quotes