Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. When he was grown, he wrote that he came from a family "where love was central and where lovely relationships were ever present” (Colaiaco, 1984). He could never remember his parents fighting, and he was surrounded by people with deep religious beliefs and a profound sense of human dignity. His father was pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and his mother had been a teacher. Her father had been pastor of Ebenezer before his death. Martin had an older sister; Christine, and a younger brother, A.D. Martin grew up during the Depression, a time when many were without jobs and had to struggle to make a living. His family wasn't wealthy, but they were comfortable and had enough to eat.

Discussion and Background

Hans Luther sent his son to the University of Effort to maintain the dream of him becoming a lawyer. By 1505, Luther had completed the Bachelor s program and received his Master s degree. He was on his way to becoming the lawyer that his father had always dreamed of, until June 1505. On his way back to the University after visiting his family, Martin was caught in a thunderstorm and a flash of lightning hit him. In the open field where he laid, he promised God he would join a religious order. (Leonard, 2002) When Martin s friends heard of his promise, they were shocked. His father was angered that he had spent a large amount of money to send his son to school, and his son was not going to be able to support the family.

For the rest of his brief life, he inspired people to fight for their rights using nonviolent means (Lincoln, 2001). King paid a great price for his vision. From 1956 until his death in 1968, he was arrested, stabbed, stoned, and finally assassinated. And although he loved his family, he was often away from home, traveling tirelessly, from town to town, state to state, and even to Europe, Africa, and Asia to share his dream of peace and love.


In 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr., won the Nobel Peace Prize. This important award is given almost every year to the person, people, or organization most responsible for promoting peace. King, at age thirty - five, was the youngest person ever to receive the prize. In December, he set off with family and friends to Oslo, Norway, where the award ceremony look place. On his return, King was shower with honors. The city of Atlanta, where he lived, gave him a dinner. Together blacks and whites sang the civil rights movement's anthem, "We Shall Overcome” (Lincoln, 2001). Only a few years before, King had been arrested in Atlanta for trying to eat al an all-white lunch counter.


Colaiaco, James A. (1984)."The American Dream Unfulfilled: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the 'Letter from the Birmingham Jail'." Phylon.

Leonard, Cowries, W. (2002) Martin Luther Jr. Leader of the Reformation. New York: Fredrick A. Pager.

Lincoln, C. Eric, (2001). Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Profile. American Century Series. New York: Hill and Wang. P 156-159