Martin Luther King Jr. (Biography Essay)

Martin Luther King Jr. was a major civil rights leader, minister, activist, and spokesperson. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to make a huge impact on society, it created controversial activities, an assassination, and it effected the community. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on 15 January 1929. Both his father and grandfather were pastors in an African-American Baptist church. M. Luther King attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, (segregated schooling) and then went to study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and Boston University’ (Pettinger). King had ended the segregation of African-American citizens in the U.S. He also had a role in the making of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to make a huge impact on society, it created controversial activities, an assassination, and it effected the community. ‘King came from a comfortable middle-class family steeped in the tradition of the Southern black ministry: both his father and maternal grandfather were Baptist preachers. His parents were college-educated, and King’s father had succeeded his father-in-law as pastor of the prestigious Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The family lived on Auburn Avenue, otherwise known as “Sweet Auburn,” the bustling “black Wall Street,” home to some of the country’s largest and most prosperous black businesses and black churches in the years before the civil rights movement. Young Martin received a solid education and grew up in a loving extended family’ (Carson). 

First, Martin Luther King Jr. created controversial activities. He provided leadership in the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. King also made a speech, the famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, that caused a lot of controversy. He also helped to establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. These activities caused lots of controversy and it eventually led to the Civil Rights Movement that lasted from 1955 to 1968. Martin Luther King Jr. received many death threats because of his importance in the Civil Rights Movement. Therefore, King was expecting to be murdered just like John F. Kennedy in 1963.  

Next, something happened that shocked people around the world. Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis, Tennessee to deliver a speech. The speech was called the ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ address. On Thursday, April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was staying at Lorraine Motel owned by Walter Bailey. King was staying in room 306, which he had stayed in many times before. King went out to the balcony when he was shot by a .30-06 bullet, fired from a Remington rifle. King fell to the ground unconscious. The murder, James Earl Ray, got arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport two months later. King was quickly taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and doctors performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. after he never got his consciousness back. According to Taylor Branch, his autopsy showed that his heart was in the condition of a 60-year-old man despite the fact that he was just 39.  

Thirdly, there were many effects of his assassination. The assassination effected the community and it also effected the accused man. The community changed and was different than before because of the impact that the assassination had. It caused the Voting Rights Act of 1968 that guaranteed everyone the right to vote. Some effects were good and some were bad.  The assassination effected the community by widening the serious break in friendly relations between black and white Americans. One hundred and twenty-five American cities exploded in violence after Martin Luther King’s death. 70,000 military service members and National Guardsmen were deployed in 29 states. Black Power activists called for political revolution. It also created the Voting Rights Act of 1968. These events were the effects on the community. The assassination also effected the accused man, James Earl Ray. ‘The U.S. government claimed the assassin was a racist loner named James Earl Ray, who had escaped from the Missouri State Penitentiary on April 23, 1967.  Ray was alleged to have fired the fatal shot from a second-floor bathroom window of a rooming house above the rear of Jim’s Grill across the street.  Running to his rented room, Ray allegedly gathered  his belongings, including the rifle, in a bedspread-wrapped bundle, rushed out the front door onto the adjoining street, and in a panic dropped the bundle in the doorway of the Canipe Amusement Company a few doors down.  He was then said to have jumped into his white Mustang and driven to Atlanta where he abandoned the car.  From there he fled to Canada and then to England where he was eventually arrested at Heathrow Airport on June 8, 1968 and extradited to the U.S.  The state claims that the money Ray needed to purchase the car and for all his travel was secured through various robberies and a bank heist’ (Curtin). These were the effects of Martin Luther King’s assassination. 

In conclusion, the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination shocked many people around the world. Martin Luther King. Jr. wanted to make a huge impact on society, it created controversial activities, an assassination, and it effected the community. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered today by many people because of all the things he did in his short life. He made many speeches and also did the March for the Dream. All of these events were controversial and had a big impact on society. 

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Martin Luther King Jr. (Biography Essay). (2021, Jul 26). Retrieved December 7, 2021 , from

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