pealed It is generally believed that Martin Luther King, Jr. , was an intelligent African-American who promoted harmony between the races. Numerous books-all of which talk about his deeds of valor to promote good-will between both blacks and whites during a time when riots and strife regularly occurred in America-have been written about his life. He is generally regarded as a man of ethics, a man who fought against injustices.
After all, he did receive the Nobel Peace Prize; and that, in itself, is something that is admired throughout the world. However, there is another side of King-one which no one dares to discuss. In today’s politically correct society, it seems that much of King’s life-the parts that do not convey his image of a leader who promoted peace-have been forgotten. Very few people, especially those people who were not alive during the time that King promoted his brotherhood, have heard about this other side of King. I challenge everything you have been taught about King’s love of people and life, about his nonviolent tactics, and about his beliefs and ethics.
All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men On January 15, 1929, a boy by the name of Michael was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His father’s name was also Mike. Many friends and relatives called the child Little Mike. 1 Little Mike’s family was somewhat wealthy, despite the poverty surrounding them during the great depression; and he lived in a 13-room house. 2 His father, who was often called Daddy by Little Mike and people in the community, came from several generations of African-American Southern Baptist preachers. 3 Daddy was married to a woman by the name of Alberta.
She had attended Spelman College, a school in Atlanta for black women, and was the daughter of the first president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Atlanta chapter. 4 Little Mike had a sister named Christine and a brother named Alfred. Daddy was extremely religious and followed the Old Testament teachings word-for-word. He felt that such activities as dancing or playing cards were considered immoral.
5 Oftentimes, he whipped his son, Little Mike, for misbehaving. 6 In 1934, after touring Bethlehem and Jerusalem at the expense of the Ebenezer Baptist Church’s congregation, Daddy proclaimed that he wanted to be called Martin Luther King and his son, Little Mike, would be renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. 7 Daddy did that because he admired the work of the protestant reformer in Germany, Dr. Martin Luther, for whom the Lutheran church is named after.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr. both went by those names during the rest of their lives. Like most children, King, Jr.
, played with other children. When he was young, a white child, with whom King had been friends, rejected him. King reacted to this and decided from thenceforth, he said, to hate every white person. 8 Because of that, he did not socialize much with whites until college.
Martin Luther King, Jr. , was academically advanced for his age. At the age of 15, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. 9 From there, he entered Crozier Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
While attending Crozier Seminary, he was introduced to and influenced by the late Dr. Mordecai Johnson, president of Harvard, who was a strong believer in Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi. 10 In 1955, when Martin Luther King, Jr. , was only 26 years old, he became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
11 It was during that time he first gained public acclaim. There was an incident in which he participated that gained national attention. On December 1, 1955, the event that led to King’s claim-to-fame occurred when a bus driver ordered some African-Americans to stand so that some whites could sit. Rosa Parks, an African-American lady, refused. She was arrested. King protested.
He felt that the system, which allowed sitting privileges for whites on buses, was completely intolerable. (In some places in the South during that time, African-Americans, although allowed to ride on the same bus as whites, had to use the seats in the back.) King was head of the Montgomery Improvement Association boycott against the city’s bus system.12 Because King was articulate, had .