MLK Day honors King’s dream, legacy

Minnesota Historical Society via Flickr

King speaking to an anti-Vietnam war rally at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul on April 27, 1967.

By Katie Valley, Kearsley High School

Many students appreciate “MLK Day” as a welcome reprieve from school. But how much do you know about the man behind the holiday? Katie Valley at Kearsley High School has published a great longform piece that explores Martin Luther King’s roots, activism, life and death.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man who had a dream — a dream of equality, a dream of freedom for all.

King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta. His legal birth name was Martin King, changed to Martin Luther King after his father traveled to Germany in 1934. The name gives homage to German reformer Martin Luther.

Growing up in Atlanta, King attended Booker T. Washington High School. He was part of the school’s debate team, making his public speaking ability known. In King’s junior year, Morehouse College announced that, because World War II was contributing to a lack of student participation, it would accept any high school junior that passed its entrance exam. King passed the exam at age 15 and entered the college.

In 1948, King graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. He then enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pa., and graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. At age 25, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.

King’s Christian faith was strongly based in Jesus’ commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself and loving your enemies. King’s beliefs were the reason for his stance on peaceful protesting. Becoming a civil rights activist at a young age, King aimed for a peaceful revolution that would bring forth the end of racial segregation.

Read the full story at The Eclipse.