Dr. King was originally named Michael King on his birth certificate, but his father, who was also named Michael King, had a mission in mind for him. So the elder King changed both their names to Martin Luther King – and the birth documents were appropriately switched around – so his son could be called “Junior.” Some people say they were both actually named Michael Luther King, so it wasn’t that much of a “stretch.”
When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. died, his name was not held in dispute – except by white nationalist supremacists. They still are attempting to discredit him, calling him a liar, saying he was sexually ill, and that he was a communist sympathizer. However, for all intents and purposes, this cool icon of human rights turned out to be hard to track down, albeit the FBI kept close tabs on him throughout his entire adult life.
He was fortuitously surrounded by an entourage of black people most of the time, who carefully maintained his history, and several well written biographies have been published about him. Also, he was often on television, the radio, and in magazines and newspapers, espousing and encouraging the causes of civil and human rights, and world peace.
MLK was a vital figure of the modern era. His lectures and dialogues stirred the concerns and sparked the consciences of the general wide world of religious, political and philosophical ethics. The spontaneous movements and marches he led brought significant changes in the fabric of American life through his vast courage and almost selfless devotion. And his causes did not appeal only to blacks; he also was able to reach out to white people, Jewish people, poor working people, and many others.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations was constantly hot on his trail, trying to tell him to sit down and shut up. This was due to several underprivileged space cadet illegal laws that must have been one long road to nowhere, except for possibly insane asylums or concentration camps. The FBI even tried to drive him into suicide through his own wife, which fortunately they both found rather laughable. This was because both their lives were one long attempt on them, although they secretly enjoyed times of lovely peace and prosperity, managing to have a small family of four children.
Being the acknowledged leader of the Black American Civil Rights Movement, he was duly (or unduly) contacted for forms of sexual and racial harassment. While performing his duties, he was constantly under siege by a strange variety of government agencies, religious groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and powerful churches in general, and many significant others. These were all leftovers from the times of the European Inquisition to some extent, which included the ridiculous and hideous persecutions of many people. The descendants of those dreadful times threatened the lives and safety of Dr. King and his family on a daily basis.
These threats involved such things as kidnapping, extortion, harassing family members by phone and mail, physical and psychological torture, and being assassinated. This sort of daily mistreatment was exposing Dr. King deeply to some weird lifestyle patterns, and otherwise harming the psyche of a rapidly maturing young and well suited gentleman.
However, spirituality issues were stuck being a particular forte of his, so he handled this pretty well, using anger and slightly vitriolic speeches against his enemies. Some may argue that indeed others had to suffer, but unfortunately, he was perfectly willing to do so with them as long as the world, insane and racist as it was as the time, turned upside down. In one famous speech, he referred to the valleys becoming mountains, the hills opening out, and the level plains become splendid. He was able in his speeches to sound pompous and arrogant in one moment, and like the nicest and most profoundly majestic being you’ve ever heard from in the next.
Most of his speeches had a “preachy” attitude, which eminently suited his Baptist upbringing and standing in the church, and his oratory has been called beautiful, wonderful and completely incomparable to anyone else’s. However, microphones and the technology of the times were used to magnify his already boisterously loud voice to almost godlike proportions.
He also headed many political actions in addition to giving speeches concerning human rights, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, where people kept from riding city buses to end racist practices, and he led many lengthy marches in the South of civil rights workers. This included the 1963 March on Washington, D.C., where he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Presidential Mall. Millions of his enthusiastic supporters were involved, and the event was televised on all channels.
These all bore an influence on his expanding ways of prescient thought, which nowadays includes continuing acts of humanity such as the Rainbow Coalition, headed by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Therefore, this general direction Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life took is still making major impacts on people’s lives, enabling his influence to extend far into the distant future. The man was a major Negro meteor who “ignited” the life forms of this entire planet with the fires of his earthy Baptist spirit. His charismatic leadership inspired men, women and children, canaries and fictional characters, the very young and the very old, in this nation and around the world. Excerpts of his speeches have been sent into outer space as a representative of some of the best our planet has to offer.
In general, the life of this young man was an improvement upon the spartanly reported upon times of the original Martin Luther, a German who nailed a protest upon the door of a Catholic Church in the middle of the night. Considering the punishments he was subject to, this act was a lot braver than it sounds. Anyone could have turned him in, but he wanted to found the Protestant Church, being of religious bent himself. He spent some time in the lower hierarchy of the Catholic Church, but wasn’t satisfied with its practices; thus the posting on the church door.
He then had to go underground and into hiding. The church of the time was able to find him, and he kept some contact with it, trying to talk them out of their torturous ways, which involved burning people alive at the stake and lengthy imprisonments. They eventually caught up with him with two men in a small room, and assassinated him, too. Thus the original Martin Luther was also killed for his beliefs, radically inspiring our modern day hero.
In short, this may appear overall to be the continuing adventures of the same man in some strange and peculiar ways. Let’s face it; the original Martin Luther had to endure the self same acts of potential persecution, but not so much on a world stage. It was the same dire threats of torture, and as far as I am aware, far worse ones such as the dungeon, the rack and the iron maiden. People were tough during those days, but he still had to go into hiding to get the new church founded, though the old one finally killed him.
Our present day Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, where he excelled. In spite of the odds being against him, being a proven genius, he graduated from high school at fifteen. This put the lie to Negroes not having any brains. Next he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta, Georgia, from which both his father and grandfather graduated. Purportedly many of his degrees involved acts of plagiarism – such as having other people write his term papers. It looks like he was capable of writing his own work, but being in a hurry politically, probably out of concerns about being assassinated and not being able to get the job done in time, he had others write for him. He had to be a kind of a “speed demon” in his own way, to get the job done as swiftly as possible.
He also had to derive his political base and tactics in a hurry. The coalition that MLK built and based his career upon seems to have been derived from the list of the group of people that the Ku Klux Klan was persecuting, fighting with, or otherwise trying to keep under control in America. The KKK used extremely perverse methods on diverse groups of people to try to keep our country in a “peaceful” state – that is, peace defined by their meaning of the word, which generally meant doing nothing to offend white people.
This is not a case exactly, however, of good guys versus bad guys. It’s more a sad matter of war, where diverse groups and cultures of people had conflicts and were at sore odds with each other. For example, the KKK had been involved in the Indian Wars with Native America, where they fought for white people’s controlling land interests. In the case of racism against blacks, they wanted the reinstitution of slavery, which was very unlikely. For the sake of plantation ownership, they wanted to enforce racism. Dr. King didn’t mind performing hard work, but he was prepared to die to end such depraved working conditions as plantation slavery – forever.
His Baptist Church career was probably the greatest influence upon his life, besides racism and working for civil rights. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father served from then until the present, and for eight years, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. acted as co-pastor.
After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955.
In Boston, while they were both attending school, he met and married a gorgeous, sophisticated, well bred and charmingly auburn haired woman, Coretta Scott, a colored lady of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments who mostly studied music and the fine arts. She turned out to be an avid speech giver, too. He was somehow – due to mystery reasons only known to God – “mostly black” next to her, as in the traditional romantic model of a dark man and a light woman, “the field gent and the house lady.” Two sons and two daughters were swiftly born into their growing family, and they also now have several grandchildren.
Dr. King is purported to be the original source of the concept of “Somebodiness,” which symbolized the celebration of human worth, the conquest of rituals of subjugation and the promotion of people’s unique and precious talents and abilities. This all inclusive “attitude problem” of his gave primarily black people in general hope and a sense of dignity, although many other kinds of people have benefited from it.
His philosophy of nonviolence was derived partially from Mahatma K. Gandhi’s nonviolent army’s struggles with the British Raj, and Henry David Thoreau’s theories of nonviolent politics through being jailed. He preached in many of his famous speeches that all human life has worth, and that it’s wrong to take anyone’s life, no matter their actions. His strategies for rational and non-destructive social change galvanized the conscience of American nation, drastically reordering our modern day priorities.
Items such as organizing unions, reparations for African Americans and affirmative action programs for everybody were formed from Dr. King’s many works, and every attempt has been made to implement them. He appealed to the blue collar working people of this country the most, working through the Democratic Party, which wanted to run him for President, and offered him their nomination at one point in time.
But during his relatively brief political career, he was considered to be “an illegal person” in multitudinous and nefarious ways. The FBI and the US government made every attempt to prove that what he was doing was illegal, immoral and was undermining the fabric of American society. But he finally won the hearts and minds of the public, and even the authorities had to bow to the wisdom of his ideas, striking down the “Jim Crow” laws which had kept black and white people apart for over four centuries.
His wisdom, his words, his actions, his commitment, and his dreams for a new way of life are deeply intertwined with the American experience, and now are easily accessible across the World Wide Web. Persons of many nations and children who have never heard of his life before can now study him. Also, I have definitely found an association between this gentleman and the ancient Hindu deity Ramah, which has something to do with the sun. Maybe somehow he symbolizes or was one of our original African leaders of human beings. I thought I saw a vision of him once, telling me that I’d known him since before I was born. Who knows? It’s hard to imagine a man who plagiarized his term papers being a god, though.
Perhaps more people like you should read about this “plagiarist” who organized as much of humanity as he possibly could to react against social injustice. I guess the major complaint about him wasn’t his plagiarism, but the fact he had to perform his major political actions during a time of severe strife in our country, which was known as the Viet Nam War. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a general in an “army” of peace and love, sort of the original hippies, which preached that violence was a thing that “We Shall Overcome.” We can all go for that, but due to serious overpopulation and wartime problems, he was forced to invert that army upon Washington DC. This was against our first Catholic President, upon whom the Protestant Dr. King lost no love, although President Kennedy was a liberal and sided with him in a number of cases. There is a report that once when JFK was on TV, Dr. King bent down in front of the screen and said – the f word “you!” – at the President – quite clearly.
The good and youthful doctor was not above using colorful language, and was known like JFK to be a womanizer. He even frequented ladies of the evening, only seeing black ladies. He supposedly treated them with the greatest of respect, however. Being a virile young man without a lot of time at his disposal, and without religion having a “narrow” impact on his conscience, he clearly wanted to live his life – while also always getting the needed social changes done.
Therefore, he had no choice whatsoever but to subjugate the President of the USA to the views of a nation of people who needed jobs, welfare reforms, better medical care and social justice. It seems to have simply timed out that way, and not been a planned attack during the Viet Nam War times. Some people think he was a Communist sympathizer, however.
The theory has been advanced that many of the problems he was addressing had to do with racial segregation definitely leading to an entire population of “colored” people being lead offstage to an unknown place. This could have been concentration camps eventually, or something rather like that in the American South. Obviously, such things as isolated curfews for blacks, segregated restrooms, enforced seating in the backs of buses, lunch counters in separate restaurants, and segregated facilities and areas in cities – plus other such “crimes against humanity” – were opposed by this consummately witty business suited superhero and his crowd of reasonably moral civil rights workers.
Yes, he was the Superman of his own nescient ethical attack, having been born into the same era of time as that ever popular children’s character. He was even a speed demon who was forced to constantly break the law, getting arrested and thrown into jail, dashing around from city to city, parading his crowd before the camera – while always on the run. Like Superman and Batman, and other such superheroes, he was seen by the authorities as competition. They freely persecuted him before finally relenting and changing American laws to reflect civil liberties – and stop arresting black people for acts such as trying to marry white people. People like him are responsible for me and my husband being able to get married, as he happens to be brown and I happen to be white. Our beautiful light skinned daughter would have labeled “deficient” and “unnatural” by the authorities, before Dr. King helped stop such idiocy.
To me, he will always be a kind of man in the moon who never got there. His sex life will be forever questioned, every move he ever made was photographed and reported on, and in general he was one of the lifestyle trendsetters of his times. Many people think that when he was finally assassinated by James Earl Ray, probably a KKK hit man, he was almost grateful for the rest. He did say he was not the slightest bit afraid to die, and the night before he was shot, he said he was going home, back to the Promised Land, and that although he was angry, he was not worried.
However, he was an earnest lover of life who wanted to go on to run for President of the United States. This would have been, however, under conditions of the Separation of Church and State which entirely precluded his ever managing to get there. This had to do with the general subjugation of black people in America, and how the laws had only allowed them to become higher level officials by joining churches, thus precluding their being able to run for political offices such as the Presidency. Some people have thought that he could have simply dropped his ministerial titles once he attained the Presidency, and become President Martin or Michael King.
MLK was brilliant, dashing, handsome, and romantic, a charmer even when severely overweight. I remember that he had the cutest little mustache. He definitely died while having those “dark good looks,” cutting as fine a figure as his beautiful young wife. When his corpse was photographed, he was still handsome, with a look of surprise written across his features, as if he died wondering why people persecuted others. There is a single crease across his left temple from a bullet, but he was shot in both the neck and spine, almost instantly killing him.
He died one year short of forty, the same age as Malcolm X died. It is a strange coincidence, but Malcolm X, a Moslem Black militant and hero to black separatists and Moslems worldwide, was a few years his senior. They were both fighting to get the rights of black people to be recognized in general, and they were frequently photographed together. Although they had different approaches to civil rights, they shared common interests.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was especially concerned over the welfare of black Americans, so he used his charisma and ability to get as much media attention as possible for all of the people in the Movement. Some think his speeches were a little lowest common denominator, designed mostly to appeal to the masses and not intellectuals, although he probably only sincerely wanted everyone possible, not just black intellectuals alone, to completely understand what he was saying. Also, I believe he was appealing to the interests of school age children, the future of society. He spoke of their “holding hands,” which turned out to be an earlier political action of his, where he and several adult protesters had held hands. He was forever looking to the future, and the possibilities of freedom. I suppose we shall need all types of people here on Earth, one way or another, in groups or uniquely, to create a lasting peace.
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By Karen S Cole
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