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The Life of Martin Luther King

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The Life of Martin Luther King One afternoon in 1935 a six-year-old boy came home from school and ran across the road outside his home to play with two of his friends. His family called him 'Mike' or M.L, but he was later to be known as Martin Luther King. He was the son of a minister at the local Baptist church in Atlanta, Georgia, a bustling city in the southeast corner of the United States. The King family was greatly respected in Atlanta. Martin's grandfather had founded the church and his father was an important figure in the local community. His friends were the two children of the local grocer, and he had played with them for as long as he could remember. But they and Martin had now started different schools and Martin was anxious to find out what their school life was like compared to his own. ...read more.


They sat down near the front of the shop. A white assistant came over to them and said 'I'll be happy to serve you if you'll just come to those seats at the back'. 'Why?' asked Martin's father. 'There's nothing wrong with these seats'. 'Sorry', said the assistant, 'but you'll have to go back there. These seats are for whites only. 'We'll either buy shoes sitting here, or we won't buy shoes at all', Daddy King replied. Both father and son walked out of the shop. 'It was probably the first time I had seen Daddy so furious', Martin remembered later, 'I remember him muttering,' ''I don't care how long I have to live with system; I am never going to accept it. I'll oppose it until the day I die''. As he got older Martin gradually leaned more about the differences between black and white. ...read more.


It was a lesson that was to shape the whole course of his future life. Racial discrimination (treating blacks differently from whites) and segregation (keeping them separate from whites) went back a long way in American history. Over 300 years before Martin Luther King was born, the first black slaves were brought from West Africa to America and the West Indies to work. At this time, these slaves had to legal rights at all. White men could buy them and sell them like pieces of furniture. The men came looking for strong plantation workers and their wives tried to find servants who would do all the housework. Many people realised that the slave trade was wrong. Laws were passed in both Britain and America in 1807-8 to make it illegal, but some people could still dodge the system and many illegal slave trading continued to happen. ...read more.

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