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Learn all about the Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr and how he rose to become one of the greatest men in History by his message of nonviolent resistance. This video reviews facts from his boyhood, education, marriage, and finally discusses his many battles and victories won as leader of the Civil Rights Movement until his tragic death. His words live on as we contemplate his many important messages of equality, peace and love this Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life began like yours or mine,
born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929.
Martin Luther and Alberta Williams were his parents' names.
With siblings Alfred and Willie Christine, Martin would play games.
At Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, they were raised.
Their father was "Minister King" where the congregation praised.
Martin graduated from high school early, at age 15,
and went to Morehouse College, grew in knowledge--though just a teen.
He learned Thoreau protested slavery in 1849.
Then at Crozer Seminary, he sought God's great design.
He weighed the peaceful tactics Mahatma Gandhi used at every turn.
Though he finished top of his class, he still had so much to learn.
So off he went to study at Boston University;
met and married his wife, Coretta Scott, in 1953.
Learned theology, worked toward diversity, cared for the poor--
til he took a job as a pastor in 1954.
T'was in Montgomery, Alabama, where hate was winning out,
The whites claimed things were "separate, but equal," but Martin had his doubts.
"Jim Crow Laws" enforced separation between the blacks and whites.
Blacks sat in the back of the bus, violating human rights.
In '55 Rosa Parks was arrested for sitting in the front.
Without a doubt this historic event forged a battlefront.
So Martin led a bus boycott; people walked to inspire a fix.
To the protestors' glee, the laws were changed in '56.
Martin continued to advocate for the NAACP*.
He spoke of civil rights, as he traveled from sea to sea.
Next he led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference,
to help people toward the goal of fairness and tolerance.
At the Lincoln Memorial he backed a Civil Rights Act,
which later became a law that no one could redact.
He staged "sit-ins" where blacks would sit in "white only" spaces.
Arrests followed, as segregation fueled hate between the races.
In Birmingham there were boycotts - against the businesses they protested.
Laws had gone uncontested.
Adults and children were beaten, fire-hosed, and tested.
The people hoped for a change, but instead were arrested.
The media caught it all: shown on every TV station....
heard on radio.... in the news.... and made an angry nation.
Social and financial pressures were felt in Birmingham.
It was time to change unfair laws, before they heard from Uncle Sam.
In '63 JFK** introduced the Civil Rights Bill.
King held a march in Washington to affirm the people's will.
In King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, Martin boldly said,
his dream was that one day the news of equality would spread:
So one day his four children would grow up to live in a place
where they would no longer dwell separated by their race.
A nation where children aren't judged by the color of their skin,
but rather by their character, as it should have always been.
Dr. King's words were televised - inspired every nation.
The Civil Rights Bill passed in '64: a righteous declaration!
That same year Dr. King was honored, as was most deserved,
peaceful opposition was the way he always served.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, though he had more to promote.
Progress had been made, but still so hard for blacks to vote...
In '65 he planned a march from Selma to Montgomery.
State troopers tried to stop their trek across the country.
President Johnson sent his Federal troops for their protection,
so they had the chance to voice their literacy test objections.
Not long after, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act,
giving all citizens equal rights to vote, as a matter of fact.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream to liberate,
but, soon he was assassinated in 1968.
President Reagan ensured that his deeds would be retold,
making the third Monday in January a day we’d behold.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national holiday,
a time to remember, he paid with his life to bring a better way.