A Few Aspects from the life Martin Luther King Jr. [Blog]



James Baldwin says there were 3 factors that impacted Martin Luther King Jr’s development:

  1. He was raised in a Black middle class family
  2. Religious ethos, Family Ethos
    1. Family Experiences
      • Kings fundamental character was shaped in the southern African America background – southern, black and rural and urban
      • Father and Mother- Father being a preacher
      • Long line of Baptist preachers – father, grandfather and great grandfather
      • The preachers in his family were outspoken advocates of freedom and justice
      • Rev Alfred D. Williams (grandfather) arrived in Atlanta in 1893, Grandfather took Ebenezer AME in 1894
      • King displayed the unusual ability to endure pain as a child, refusing to cry  
  1. The ongoing patter of Racial Segregation in the south
  • Neighbors displayed racism – As a child Martin was no longer able to play with his friend who was white, because the parents refused to let
  • Store owners displayed racism – As a child he was unable to try on a pair of shoes before his father purchased them.  As a result his father stormed out refusing to purchase the shoes

 King’s diagnosis of the black condition  

  • African Americans need to develop a rugged sense of some-body-ness
  • Blacks needed to transform disunity within the ranks
  • Blacks needed to aspire to excellence
  • Blacks needed to unite around powerful action programs
  • Blacks needed to be mindful of uniting the whole society 

Points from King’s Last Sermon:  

  • April 3, 1968
  • Happened the night prior to his assassination
  • Mason Temple God in Christ in Memphis
  • Spoke without notes
  • Was in support of a garbage workers strike
  • At this point he might have been the most depressed he had been
  • Martin had no intentions on speaking that night
  • Opened with a joke
  • Spoke about visions of a conversation with God where God asked him what age would he like to live in
  • He visited all times and places from ancient Egypt to Greece but he would still choose to live in the 20th century
  • Spoke out against the Vietnam war
  • Spoke out against whites keeping the blacks fighting amongst themselves
  • Blacks must maintain unity by getting out of the slave mentality
  • Reflected on all the struggles of the movement
  • Called for us to be concerned about the homeless
  • Called the African Americans to pool there money together… because at the time we were worth $30 billion
  • Called for us to withdraw economic support and a redistribution of wealth
    • Not to buy Coke, Seal Test Milk, Wonder Bread, Harts Bread,
    • Redistribute the economic wealth
    • Take money out of banks
    • Establish black insurance
  • Finished with comparisons to Moses seeing over the mountain top


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