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Professor Mermilliod                                                                                             

December 2017

Dr. King

Martin Luther King Jr. A
twenty-seven-year-old man of many talents and a wise selection of words. Mr.
King was known as a social activist whose main message to the world was to
spread equality, human rights, and freedom (History.com). He played a
significant role in the civil rights movement from the mid 1950’s through
peaceful protest, while fighting for those that suffered from injustice
(History.com). King partook in events that would go on to change the way the
government and other various forms of higher authority functioned. He stood as
a immensely important public figure up until his death in 1968. Even so, his
actions have carried over into modern day and have shaped the way of life for

Mr. King, born on January 25, 1929, was
brought up in the countryside of Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up around both
parents, and his two siblings. His father, Martin Sr, was a popular pastor who
fought against the negativity and realization of racism. Any trace or act of
racial segregation was completely forbidden in his eyes. For he was driven by
the word of God, which does not approve of the superiority of one race. The
thoughts and beliefs of King Jr.’s father stuck with him and had an everlasting
impact on his success (Biography.com). 

Martin Luther King Jr. was exceptionally
advanced for his age. While attending high school, he was permitted to skip
ninth and eleventh grade. At an early age of fifteen, he began his first years
at Morehouse College and earned a sociology degree. His grades and studies were
of great significance to him, which was supported by his achievement of
valedictorian, as well as being named the student body president of his class
(biography.com).  After a period of time,
Martin went on to expand his knowledge and education at Boston University.
There he met his wife, Coretta Scott, married in June of 1953, and had four
children. In 1954, he became a pastor while working towards the completion of
his doctorates degree, which he was rewarded with the following year.

Amongst his educational achievements, King
Jr.’s speeches spoke up about the topic of freedom and equal rights. The words
he used were so descriptive and empowering, that it made those around him take
heed into what he was saying. I would go on to say that his vocabulary truly
resembled that of someone who was proficient in academics. The “I Have a Dream
“speech, broadcasted in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C,
stressed the idea of the mistreatment of negroes, including lack of justice,
and forming a nation that comes together as one. Martin Luther King stated, “But
one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still
not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly
crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination”
(Avalon Project). Embedded in these lines are the harsh realities that we still
face as a race. Over one hundred years later, we are still struggling to break
free from the trials and tribulations that come from prejudices. We struggle to
be unified. We struggle to look past the color of our skin, and our
differences, rather than embracing the fact that we are all similar. We are
hindered upon the belief that we were designed to be separate, segregated, and
superior to other races, instead of focusing on improving our character. Continuing,
he says “We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a
smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in
Mississippi cannot vote… No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be
satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty
stream” (American Rhetoric). The term “we” is used for the African American
community, including himself. We will not continue to settle for less of that we
deserve. We will not be satisfied with the leftovers and basic assets of life.
We will rise. We will strive for growth that is major, not minor, and we will
not be satisfied until we reach that point. The African American community will
continue to fight and spread awareness on equity until justice is granted. “Let
freedom ring”, King Jr. shouts repeatedly (Analytic Tech). From his viewpoint,
he imagined that all races and religions would join one another. Love, peace,
and happiness would be oozing out of the mouths of everyone. Hatred would be
minuscule, if not diminished. He dreamed visions that I could relate to myself,
yet we have shown little to no signs of acting upon them. Still, we suffer from
a lack of consistency, and togetherness.

“I’ve been to the mountaintop”. The last speech spoken by Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. before he was assassinated hours later. This speech took place at
the Mason Temple located in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3rd of 1968
(American Rhetoric). It spoke in support of the injustice felt by the city’s
sanitation workers, who felt as if they were not being paid in proportion to
their labor (NPR.org). They also were not satisfied with the working conditions
that they were subjected to which caused them to go on strike. This topic lead
up to King Jr. speaking upon his mortality and death, for he had received numerous
threats regarding his life being taken. He goes on to talk about the structure
of the government, and how the people of color were victims of a sick nation. Carrying
on, he makes it known that blacks will not give up until their desires of freedom
are met. “We want to be free” (American Rhetoric). To me, the wish to be
free rises above all other wishes. The black community has yearned for
acceptance and fairness. My people have only wanted to be presented with the
same opportunities and treatment as everyone else. We as a whole have to let go
of all stereotypes, all preconceived thoughts about one another, and let ones
personality determine how they are acted towards. He also stated, “We aren’t
engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We
are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We
are saying — We are saying that we are God’s children. And that we are God’s
children, we don’t have to live like we are forced to live” (American Rhetoric).
The intentions and purpose of this is to share our thoughts across the world.
In these words, there is no negative connotation. We are not deterring the
value of anyone else, for our brothers and sisters of all races are dear to us.
All we ask for is integration. We are tired of being belittled as a race, as if
we are different from those around us. We are all God’s children, and God
teaches us to love any and every one. That being said, why must it be difficult
for us to accomplish? Why do we shy away from loving one another and lean
towards hating each other? We need change and progression. Not only do we need
the following, but we also need to be prepared for what will come. Dr. King
spoke about the difficult days we’d encounter, and how it would not affect him
because he had been to the mountaintop (American Rhetoric). He felt as if he
had witnessed the promise land and lived by God’s will. In a sense, he was
preparing for his death. He was at ease, with his life and expressed that
through his message. King preached positivity and hope through his word choice,
despite any wrong doings surrounding him.



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