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In 1958, while autographing copies of his book in New York, Dr.
It was both in the church and from his father that Dr.
King first came to understand the power of ministry in the black community. King studied at Morehouse College in Atlanta from 1944 through 1948, intending to become a lawyer instead of preacher.
When he was arrested at a SNCC event in Atlanta in 1960, presidential candidate John F. King and the Civil Rights movement, issuing a statement that many believe was instrumental in his narrow victory over Richard Nixon that year. King’s next major battleground was in Albany, GA, which he entered begrudgingly and at the behest of others. King’s two arrests there, the Albany Movement was ultimately a failure, largely because the local sheriff refused to use violence, which would have energized the national consciousness. King left Albany in 1962, leaving many to doubt his relevance to the ongoing struggle.
What was confirmed in Albany was that most of the country was naturally inclined towards moderation, and would not support civil rights unless they saw outward, unequivocal instances of injustice through the media. King led a great victory in Birmingham, AL, after being invited by SCLC’s affiliates to protest terrible segregation.
Arguably the most important figure in American Civil Rights - and one of the country’s most important public figures overall - Dr. has been understandably mythologized in the decades since his death.
And yet while the details of his relatively short life do complicate that mythological portrait, they also paint a picture of a complicated but devoted man whose courage in a conflicted age has inspired such veneration. was named pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1931.Less than a month later, four young girls were killed in a bomb attack on a Birmingham church, which intensified pressure on King to find a new battleground. Augustine, Florida, joining pre-existing sit-in protests. Though the SCLC did attain some minor legal victories in St. King left less than a year later, overwhelmed by the continuing violence and convinced that he would not find a dramatic situation there to energize the national consciousness. King was named magazine’s “Man of the Year.” This new level of stardom had its downsides. King was often away from his family, which made it easy for him to indulge in his well-documented infidelities.Further, he had made enemies in the federal government, from the Kennedy brothers (who worried that he pushed for change too quickly) to J.Though he was successfully healed (doctors famously told him he would have died had he sneezed), this incident inspired in Dr.King a morbid sense of his own death, which would haunt him throughout his subsequent struggles.His organization proved wildly ineffective there, unprepared for the less clear-cut evils of economic disparity and the political machinations of Chicago mayor Richard Daley.Meanwhile, many were becoming disenchanted with Dr.Because of his position in the community, in 1955 he was asked to lead the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), formed by several black leaders (including his life-long ally Ralph Abernathy) to protest the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. King quickly became a fiery and devoted leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a yearlong protest wherein black citizens (the majority of city passengers) refused to ride Montgomery buses.It was during this first stage of his career as protest leader that Dr.Edgar Hoover, the FBI autocrat who kept a rather extensive file on King, whom Hoover believed to be a Communist. King published several other books, including , which addressed the concerns of his later career. King led the “Selma to Montgomery March” to protest segregationist actions taken by George Wallace.In 1964, the first Civil Rights act was passed, under President Lyndon B. Though he initially angered some supporters by postponing the march to await a court verdict, the march was eventually completed, pre-figuring the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King was not involved in another great success after Birmingham, but he remained active, lending his support for various other causes and attempting to expand his mission into a larger campaign against poverty.