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Martin Luther King, Jr.

King in 1964

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 April 4, 1968)[1] was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for improving civil rights by using nonviolent civil disobedience, based on his Christian beliefs. Because he was both a Ph.D. and a pastor, King is sometimes called The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. (abbreviated the Rev. Dr. King), or just Dr. King.[a] He is also known by his initials, MLK.

King worked hard to make people understand that not only blacks but that all races should always be treated equally to white people. He gave speeches to encourage African Americans to protest without using violence.

Led by Dr. King and others, many African Americans used nonviolent, peaceful strategies to fight for their civil rights. These strategies included sit-ins, boycotts, and protest marches. Often they were attacked by white police officers or people who did not want African Americans to have more rights. However, no matter how badly they were attacked, Dr. King and his followers never fought back.

King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. The next year, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

King fought for equal rights from the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 until he was murdered by James Earl Ray in April 1968.

Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. Although the name “Michael” appeared on his birth certificate, his name was later changed to Martin Luther in honor of German reformer Martin Luther.[2]

As King was growing up, everything in Georgia was segregated. This meant that black and white people were not allowed to go to the same schools, use the same public bathrooms, eat at the same restaurants, or even go to the same hospitals. Everything was separate. However, the white hospitals, schools, and other places were usually much better than the places where black people were allowed to go.[3]

At age 6, King first went through discrimination (being treated worse than a white person because he was black). He was sent to an all-black school, and a white friend was sent to an all-white school.[1]

Once, when he was 14, King won a contest with a speech about civil rights. When he was going back home on a bus, he was forced to give up his seat and stand for the bus ride so a white person could sit down.[1] At the time, white people were seen as more important than black people. If a white person wanted a seat, that person could take the seat from any African American.[3] King later said having to give up his seat made him “the angriest I’ve ever been in my life.”[4]

King went to segregated schools in Georgia, and finished high school at age 15.[2] He went on to Morehouse College in Georgia, where his father and grandfather had gone.[2] After graduating from college in 1948, King decided he was not exactly the type of person to join the Baptist Church. He was not sure what kind of career he wanted. He thought about being a doctor or a lawyer. He decided not to do either, and joined the Baptist Church. [5]

King went to a seminary in Pennsylvania to become a pastor. While studying there, King learned about the non-violent methods used by Mahatma Gandhi against the British Empire in India. King was convinced that these non-violent methods would help the civil rights movement.[6]

Finally, in 1955, King earned a Ph.D. from Boston University’s School of Theology.[1]

King first started his civil rights activism in 1955. At that time, he led a protest against the way black people were segregated on buses.[7] They had to sit at the back of the bus, separate from white people.[3] He told his supporters, and the people who were against equal rights, that people should only use peaceful ways to solve the problem.[8]

King was chosen as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), which was created during the boycott. Rosa Parks later said: “Dr. King was chosen in part because he was relatively new to the community and so [he] did not have any enemies.”[9] King ended up becoming an important leader of the boycott, becoming famous around the country, and making many enemies.[10]

King was arrested for starting a boycott. He was fined $500, plus $500 more in court costs.[11] His house was fire-bombed. Others involved with MIA were also threatened.[7] However, by December 1956, segregation had been ended on Montgomery’s buses. People could sit anywhere they wanted on the buses.[12]

After the bus boycott, King and Ralph Abernathy started the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).[7] The group decided that they would only use non-violence. Its motto was “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.”[13] The SCLC chose King as its president.[7]

In 1963, King helped plan the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This was the largest protest for human rights in United States history.[14] On August 28, 1963, about 250,000 people marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial.[14][15] Then they listed to civil rights leaders speak. King was the last speaker. His speech, called “I Have a Dream,” became one of history’s most famous civil rights speeches.[16] King talked about his dream that one day, white and black people would be equal.

That same year, the United States government passed the Civil Rights Act. This law made many kinds of discrimination against black people illegal.[17] The March on Washington made it clear to the United States government that they needed to take action on civil rights, and it helped get the Civil Rights Act passed.[18]

In 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[2] When presenting him with the award, the Chairman of the Nobel Committee said:

Today, now that mankind [has] the atom bomb, the time has come to lay our weapons and armaments aside and listen to the message Martin Luther King has given us[:] “The choice is either nonviolence or nonexistence”….

King and many others then started working on the problem of racism in voting. At the time, many of the Southern states had laws which made it very hard or impossible for African-Americans to vote. For example, they would make African Americans pay extra taxes, pass reading tests, or pass tests about the Constitution. White people did not have to do these things.[19]

In 1963 and 1964, civil rights groups in Selma, Alabama had been trying to sign African-American people up to vote, but they had not been able to. At the time, 99% of the people signed up to vote in Selma were white.[20] However, the government workers who signed up voters were all white. They refused to sign up African-Americans.[19] In January 1965, these civil rights groups asked King and the SCLC to help them. Together, they started working on voting rights.[1] However, the next month, an African-American man named Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot by a police officer during a peaceful march. Jackson died.[21]pp.121-123 Many African-American people were very angry.

The SCLC decided to organize a march from Selma to Montgomery.[22] By walking 54 miles (87 kilometers) to the state capital, activists hoped to show how badly African-Americans wanted to vote. They also wanted to show that they would not let racism or violence stop them from getting equal rights.[20]

The first march was on March 7, 1965. Police officers, and people they had chosen to help them, attacked the marchers with clubs and tear gas. They threatened to throw the marchers off the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Seventeen marchers had to go to the hospital, and 50 others were also injured.[23] This day came to be called Bloody Sunday. Pictures and film of the marchers being beaten were shown around the world, in newspapers and on television.[24] Seeing these things made more people support the civil rights activists. People came from all over the United States to march with the activists. One of them, James Reeb, was attacked by white people for supporting civil rights. He died on March 11, 1965.[25]

Finally, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to send soldiers from the United States Army and the Alabama National Guard to protect the marchers.[21] From March 21 to March 25, the marchers walked along the “Jefferson Davis Highway” from Selma to Montgomery.[21] Led by King and other leaders, 25,000 people who entered Montgomery on March 25.[21] He gave a speech called “How Long? Not Long” at the Alabama State Capitol. He told the marchers that it would not be long before they had equal rights, “because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”[26]

On August 6, 1965, the United States passed the Voting Rights Act. This law made it illegal to stop somebody from voting because of their race.[27]

After this, King continued to fight poverty and the Vietnam War.[1]

King had made enemies by working for civil rights and becoming such a powerful leader. The Ku Klux Klan did what they could to hurt King’s reputation, especially in the South. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) watched King closely. They wiretapped his phones, his home, and the phones and homes of his friends.[28]

On April 4, 1968, King was in Memphis, Tennessee. He planned to lead a protest march to support garbage workers who were on strike. At 6:01 pm, King was shot while he was standing on the balcony of his motel room.[29]pp.284-285 The bullet entered through his right cheek and travelled down his neck. It cut open the biggest veins and arteries in King’s neck before stopping in his shoulder.[30]

King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital. His heart had stopped. Doctors there cut open his chest and tried to make his heart start pumping again.[30] However, they were unable to save King’s life. He died at 7:05 p.m.[29]pp.284-285

King’s death led to riots in many cities.[31]

In March 1969, James Earl Ray was found guilty of killing King. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.[32] Ray died in 1998.[33]

Just days after King’s death, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968.[34] Title VIII of the Act, usually called the Fair Housing Act, made it illegal to discriminate in housing because of a person’s race, religion, or home country. (For example, this made it illegal for a realtor to refuse to let a black family buy a house in a white neighborhood.) This law was seen as a tribute to King’s last few years of work fighting housing discrimination in the United States.[34]

… I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry… to clothe those who were naked… to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. [35] Martin Luther King, Jr., February 4, 1968

After his death, King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[36] King and his wife were also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.[37]

In 1986, the United States government created a national holiday in King’s honor. It is called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is celebrated on the third Monday in January.[1] This is around the time of King’s birthday. Many people fought for the holiday to be created, including singer Stevie Wonder.

In 2003, the United States Congress passed a law allowing the beginning words of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech to be carved into the Lincoln Memorial.[38]

King County in the state of Washington, where Seattle is located in, is named after King.[39] Originally, the county was named after William R. King, an American politician who owned slaves.[39] In 2005, the King County government decided the county would now be named after Martin Luther King, Jr. Two years later, they changed their official logo to include a picture of King.[39]

More than 900 streets in the United States have also been named after King. These streets exist in 40 different states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico.[40]

In 2011, a memorial statue of King was put up on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

There are also memorials for King around the world. These include:[41]

Rosa Parks with King during the bus boycott (1955)

View of the protestors at the March on Washington (1963)

Police and protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965)

King speaks at an anti-Vietnam War rally at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul (1967)

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Martin Luther King Jr. – A Historical Examination: The Death …

The Death of the Dream: The Day Martin Luther King Was Shot

Left to right: Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Ralph David Abernathy on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel Memphis hotel, a day before King’s assassination. April 3, 1968.

The picture above has been shown millions of times. King, the day before his death, greeting his supporters. What is not publicly known is what happened the night before his death. Newsweek magazine from January 19, 1998 gives you a small glimpse of the real Martin Luther King Jr.

Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65. (book reviews) Jon Meacham

01/19/98 Newsweek, Page 62

January 6, 1964, was a long day for Martin Luther King Jr. He spent the morning seated in the reserved section of the Supreme Court, listening as lawyers argued New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, a landmark case rising out of King’s crusade against segregation in Alabama. The minister was something of an honored guest: Justice Arthur Goldberg quietly sent down a copy of Kings account of the Montgomery bus boycott, “Stride Toward Freedom,” asking for an autograph. That night King retired to his room at the Willard Hotel. There FBI bugs reportedly picked up 14 hours of party chatter, the clinking of glasses and the sounds of illicit sex–including King’s cries of “I’m f–ing for God” and “I’m not a Negro tonight!”

Note: What is not mentioned in this article is that Martin Luther King was having sex with three White women, one of whom he brutally beat while screaming the above mentioned quotes. Much of the public information on King’s use of church money to hire prostitutes and his beating them came from King’s close personal friend, Rev. Ralph Abernathy (pictured above), in his 1989 book, “And the walls came tumbling down.”

Sources:

Newsweek Magazine 1-19-1998, page 62

“And the walls came tumbling down,” by Rev. Ralph Abernathy (1989)

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Martin Luther King Jr. – A Historical Examination: The Death …

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Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) | New Georgia Encyclopedia

Early Life and Education, 1929-1955 Family, church, and education shaped King’s life from an early age. Michael Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929, to Alberta Williams and Michael Luther King Sr. In 1934, after visiting Europe, Michael King Sr. changed his and his son’s name in honor of the sixteenth-century German church reformer Martin Luther. King spent his early years in the family home at 501 Auburn Avenue, about a block from Ebenezer Baptist Church. His maternal grandfather, A. D. Williams, was pastor at Ebenezer from 1894 until 1931. After Williams’s death, the elder King succeeded his father-in-law at the pulpit. King was educated in Atlanta, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1944. He then enrolled at Morehouse College,where Williams had studied. King first considered studying medicine or law but decided to major in sociology. He ultimately found the call to the ministry irresistible, however. He served as assistant to his father at Ebenezer while studying at Morehouse. In February 1948 King Sr. ordained his son as a Baptist minister.

After graduating from Morehouse in June 1948, King studied for a divinity degree at Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania, and graduated in May 1951. The following September King enrolled in the Ph.D. program in systematic theologyat Boston University. There he met his future wife, Coretta Scott. King’s father preferred that his son marry an Atlanta woman and initially opposed King’s plans to marry Coretta. When King refused to back down, his father relented, and on June 18, 1953, he performed the marriage ceremony at the Scott family home in rural Perry County, Alabama.

During his last year of residential studies at Boston University, King sought employment while he finished his dissertation. Through a family friend he learned of a vacant position at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King desired a pulpit in a southern city but also wanted to escape Atlanta and gain independence from his father, so he arranged a trial sermon. King was offered the position, and in 1954 he moved to Montgomery with Coretta. In June 1955 King received his Ph.D. The Kings’ first child, Yolanda Denise, was born November 17, 1955.

At the meeting black leaders agreed on a one-day boycott. When this was successful, they agreed to extend the action. King was asked to head the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), a new organization formed to run the bus boycott. He had not planned to take a leading role, but he agreed to serve. The boycott ran for 381 days. Throughout, whites in Montgomery tried to stymie it. King and other MIA members were arrested. Segregationists even bombed King’s home.

The intimidation strengthened the resolve of the black community. The initial demands of the MIA for a modified system of segregation on city buses evolved into a lawsuit that called for its total abolishment. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional. On December 21, 1956, King was among the first passengers to board an integrated bus.

The bus boycott made King a national symbol of black protest. In the next few years he spoke alongside other national black leaders and met with U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower and a host of foreign dignitaries. In 1958 King published Stride toward Freedom, his account of the Montgomery boycott. His newfound recognition came at a price. In September 1958 a mentally ill black woman, Izola Ware Curry, stabbed King in the chest at a book signing in New York. King barely survived the injury. Earlier that month, police in Montgomery had again arrested King. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to take an interest in him, starting a covert surveillance of his activities that continued for the rest of his life.

Learning from Albany, King and the SCLC carefully chose their next targetin 1963. In Birmingham, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) under the leadership of the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth provided an established local base for protest. Specific goals and a strategy for the movement were drawn up in advance. As expected, the Birmingham police chief Eugene “Bull” Connor met protestors with force, using police dogs and high-power fire hoses to break up demonstrations. The conflict brought national news headlines and federal intervention, and pulled local white businessmen to the negotiating table. The campaign made significant gains in desegregating downtown facilities and in opening up black employment opportunities, although segregationist violence in the city remained a serious problem. Arrested and jailed for eight days during the Birmingham campaign, King composed his well-known “Letter from Birmingham Jail” during his incarceration.

Not everything went King’s way. After a surge in white violencein Birmingham,attempts to renew demonstrationsmet with stiff opposition and failed to make much headway.King lost a carefully cultivated federal ally whenU.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, though the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, proved equally if not more sympathetic with the civil rights movement. TheSCLClaunched a newcampaignin St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964, but it failed to win meaningful concessions for local blacks. King’s attempts to mediate the seating of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegation at the 1964 Democratic Party convention failed as well. Around the same time the FBI stepped up its campaign of harassment and intimidation against King.

As was often the case in King’s relatively short public career, victory and defeat, as well as advancement and setback, were never far apart.

King responded to these developments in a variety of ways. He took the SCLC into the northern ghettos in an attempt to alleviate the conditions that caused the urban riots. He opposed much of the angry rhetoric of Black Power and continued to stress the importance of nonviolence. He spoke out ever more stridently in opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He opposed conservative politicians who sought to exploit white racial fears. He also gained new insight about black problems in the United States as the movement shifted from tackling segregation to confronting the problem of racial discrimination.

In 1965-66 the SCLC launched its first northern campaign in Chicago. King felt that the urban riots in northern cities underlined the need for SCLC assistance, focusing on such issues as black employment, housing, and education opportunities. The Chicago campaign highlighted the difficulties of fighting entrenched racism. The city was much bigger than previous communities in which the SCLC had worked. Discrimination was much more difficult to dramatize than segregation. SCLC funds declined, making operations even more problematic. Despite some successes, the SCLC failed to make the desired impact on black advancement in Chicago.

King was selected as one of the inaugural honorees for the Extra Mile Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, a monument in Washington, D.C., that celebrates the efforts of national volunteer leaders. The pathway was unveiled in October 2005. In August 2011 a memorial to King was unveiled on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the first on the Mall to honor either a nonpresident or an African American.

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Martin Luther King Wikipdia

Un article de Wikipdia, l’encyclopdie libre.

Martin Luther King Jr., n Atlanta (Gorgie) le 15 janvier 1929 et mort assassin le 4 avril 1968 Memphis (Tennessee), est un pasteur baptiste afro-amricain, militant non-violent pour les droits civiques des Noirs aux tats-Unis, pour la paix et contre la pauvret.

Il organise et dirige des actions telles que le boycott des bus de Montgomery pour dfendre le droit de vote, la dsgrgation et l’emploi des minorits ethniques. Il prononce un discours clbre le 28 aot 1963 devant le Lincoln Memorial Washington durant la marche pour l’emploi et la libert: I have a dream. Il est soutenu par John F. Kennedy dans la lutte contre la sgrgation raciale aux tats-Unis; la plupart de ces droits seront promus par le Civil Rights Act et le Voting Rights Act sous la prsidence de Lyndon B. Johnson.

Martin Luther King devient le plus jeune laurat du prix Nobel de la paix en 1964 pour sa lutte non-violente contre la sgrgation raciale et pour la paix. Il commence alors une campagne contre la guerre du Vit Nam et la pauvret, qui prend fin en 1968 avec son assassinat officiellement attribu James Earl Ray, dont la culpabilit et la participation un complot sont toujours dbattues.

Il se voit dcerner titre posthume la mdaille prsidentielle de la Libert par Jimmy Carter en 1977, le prix des droits de l’homme des Nations unies en 1978, la mdaille d’or du Congrs en 2004, et est considr comme l’un des plus grands orateurs amricains[1]. Depuis 1986, le Martin Luther King Day est jour fri aux tats-Unis.

Martin Luther King est le fils du pasteur baptiste Martin Luther King Sr. et d’Alberta Williams King, organiste d’glise. Il a une sur ane, Christine King Farris, et un plus jeune frre, Albert Daniel Williams King. Il nait au 501 Aubrun Avenue Atlanta, dans une maison qui a t conserve et transforme en Muse National, quelques pas de l’Eglise baptiste Ebenezer, o prche son pre. Il grandit au sein de l’Amrique sgrgationniste[2], dans un milieu privilgi pour l’poque. Sa premire exprience de la sgrgation raciale date de ses six ans, quand deux camarades de jeux blancs lui disent qu’ils ne sont plus autoriss jouer avec lui. Sa mre lui explique que c’est parce qu’ils sont maintenant dans des coles sgrgationnistes blanches, mais souligne qu’il est aussi bon que n’importe qui[3].

En 1939, il chante avec le chur de son glise Atlanta pour la premire du film Autant en emporte le vent.

Il entre l’ge de 15 ans Morehouse College, une universit rserve aux garons noirs, aprs avoir saut deux annes de lyce et sans avoir officiellement obtenu son certificat de fin d’tudes. Il en sort avec le diplme de Bachelor of Arts en sociologie le 20 juin 1948 et rentre au Crozer Theological Seminary pour un Bachelor of Divinity Chester (Pennsylvanie) qui correspond une licence en thologie qu’il obtient le 12 mai 1951. Il obtient son doctorat en thologie, l’Universit de Boston, le 18 juin 1955[4].

Des accusations de plagiat contre sa thse de doctorat l’universit de Boston aboutissent en 1991 une enqute officielle des responsables de cette universit. Ceux-ci concluent qu’un tiers environ de la thse est plagi d’un article crit par un tudiant diplm antrieurement, mais il est dcid de ne pas retirer son titre Martin Luther, car la thse constitue tout de mme une contribution intelligente au savoir[5]. On trouve galement des emprunts tacites dans certains discours de King, mais Keith Miller soutient[6] que dans ce dernier cas, c’est une pratique courante des Afro-Amricains et que l’on ne peut considrer cela comme du plagiat. Toutefois, comme Theodore Pappas le note dans son livre sur le sujet[7], Martin Luther King avait en fait suivi un cours sur les normes de la production intellectuelle et le plagiat l’universit de Boston.

Il pouse, le 18 juin 1953, Coretta Scott, qui prendra son nom pour devenir Coretta Scott King. Ils ont eu quatre enfants: Yolanda, ne en 1955, Martin Luther King III, n en 1957, Dexter Scott, n en 1961, et Bernice, ne en 1963.

En 1953, Martin Luther King devient le pasteur de l’glise baptiste de l’avenue Dexter Montgomery (Alabama). Le sud des tats-Unis est cette poque marqu par les violences commises contre les Noirs, culminant en 1955 avec le meurtre raciste de Emmett Till, un adolescent de 14 ans, du pasteur engag George W. Lee et du militant des droits civiques Lamar Smith.

Le 1er dcembre 1955, lorsque Rosa Parks, une femme noire, est arrte pour avoir viol les lois sgrgationnistes de la ville en refusant de cder sa place un Blanc, il mne le boycott des bus de Montgomery avec l’aide du pasteur Ralph Abernathy et d’Edgar Nixon, directeur local du National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. La population noire soutient le boycott et organise un systme de covoiturage. Martin Luther King est arrt durant cette campagne qui dure 382 jours et devient extrmement tendue cause de sgrgationnistes blancs qui ont recours au terrorisme: la maison de Martin Luther King est attaque la bombe incendiaire le matin du 30 janvier 1956, ainsi que celle de Ralph Abernathy et quatre glises, et King est victime de violences physiques[8]. Les boycotters sont souvent attaqus physiquement mais l’ensemble des 40000 Noirs de la ville continuent de marcher, parfois jusqu’ 30km, pour rejoindre leur lieu de travail. Le boycott se termine par une dcision de la Cour suprme des tats-Unis le 21 dcembre 1956 dclarant illgale la sgrgation dans les autobus, restaurants, coles et autres lieux publics[8].

En 1957, il joue un rle capital dans la fondation de la Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC, Confrence des dirigeants chrtiens du Sud), dont il est lu prsident et le reste jusqu’ sa mort. La SCLC est une organisation pacifique qui participe activement au Mouvement pour les droits civiques en organisant les glises afro-amricaines pour conduire des protestations non-violentes[9]. King adhre la philosophie de dsobissance civile non-violente comme dcrite par Henry David Thoreau[10] et utilise avec succs en Inde par Gandhi[11]. Conseill par le militant des droits civiques Bayard Rustin, il dcide de l’utiliser lors des manifestations de la SCLC.

Il expose en 1958 son point de vue sur la sgrgation raciale et la spirale d’ingalit et de haine qu’elle provoque dans le livre Stride toward freedom; the Montgomery story (la marche vers la libert):

Souvent, les hommes se hassent les uns les autres parce qu’ils ont peur les uns des autres; ils ont peur parce qu’ils ne se connaissent pas; ils ne se connaissent pas parce qu’ils ne peuvent pas communiquer; ils ne peuvent pas communiquer parce qu’ils sont spars.

Alors qu’il signe des exemplaires de son livre dans un magasin Harlem le 20 septembre, il est poignard la poitrine par Izola Curry, une femme noire qui l’accuse d’tre un chef communiste et qui sera juge comme dsquilibre. Martin Luther King chappe de peu la mort, la lame du coupe-papier utilis ayant frl l’aorte. Martin Luther pardonne son agresseur et, dans une dclaration la presse[12], souligne la violence de la socit amricaine:

L’aspect pathtique de cette exprience n’est pas la blessure d’un individu. Il dmontre qu’un climat de haine et d’amertume imprgne tellement notre nation que des accs d’extrme violence doivent surgir invitablement. Aujourd’hui c’est moi. Demain cela pourrait tre un autre dirigeant ou n’importe quel homme, femme ou enfant qui sera victime de l’anarchie et de la brutalit. J’espre que cette exprience se rvlera socialement constructive en dmontrant le besoin urgent de la non-violence pour gouverner les affaires des hommes.

En 1959, il crit le livre The Measure of A Man (La Mesure d’un homme), une tentative pour dpeindre une structure optimale de socit politique, sociale et conomique, duquel la pice What is Man? (Qu’est-ce qu’un homme?) est tire.

Le FBI commence mettre Martin Luther King sur coute en 1961, craignant que des communistes essayent d’infiltrer le mouvement des droits civiques. Aucune preuve n’tant trouve, l’agence utilise certains dtails enregistrs sur une dure de six ans pour essayer de le faire renvoyer de son rle de dirigeant de l’organisation.

Martin Luther King prvoit justement que des protestations organises et non-violentes contre le systme de sgrgation du sud connu comme les lois Jim Crow amneront une grande couverture mdiatique du conflit pour l’galit et le droit de vote des personnes de peau noire. Les comptes-rendus des journalistes et les reportages de la tlvision montrant les privations et humiliations quotidiennes des Afro-Amricains du sud des tats-Unis, ainsi que la violence et le harclement dploys par les sgrgationnistes contre les militants des droits civiques, produisent alors une vague de sympathie au sein de l’opinion publique pour le mouvement des droits civiques qui devient le sujet politique le plus important de l’Amrique des annes 1960.

Martin Luther King organise et mne des marches pour le droit de vote des Afro-Amricains, la dsgrgation, le droit du travail et d’autres droits fondamentaux. La plupart de ces droits ont t vots comme lois avec le Civil Rights Act de 1964 et le Voting Rights Act de 1965. Martin Luther et le SCLC appliquent avec succs les principes de manifestation non-violente en choisissant stratgiquement les lieux et la mthode de protestation qui aboutissent des confrontations spectaculaires avec les autorits sgrgationnistes.

Albany (Gorgie) en 1961 et 1962, il rejoint les militants locaux du Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), et du National Association for the Advancement of Colored People men par William G. Anderson, un mdecin noir. Martin Luther King intervient parce que le SNCC ne parvient pas faire avancer le mouvement malgr des actions non-violentes efficaces (occupation de bibliothques, stations de bus, restaurants rservs aux Blancs, boycotts et manifestations) cause de l’habilet du shrif local Pritchett qui procde des arrestations massives sans violence et une dispersion des prisonniers dans tout le comt. Il intervient galement parce que cette organisation l’a critiqu pour avoir mollement soutenu les freedom rides (bus de la libert contre la sgrgation)[13].

Alors qu’il ne compte rester que quelques jours et n’avoir qu’un rle de conseiller, il est interpell lors d’une arrestation massive de manifestants pacifiques. Il refuse de payer la caution tant que la ville ne fait pas de concessions. Les accords passs sont dshonors et viols par la ville ds son dpart[14].

Il revient en juillet 1962, et est condamn 45 jours de prison ou 178$ d’amende. Il choisit la prison mais est discrtement libr au bout de 3 jours par le shrif Pritchett qui s’arrange pour faire payer son amende. King commentera[14]:

Nous avions t tmoins de personnes jetes hors de restaurants expulses d’glises et jetes en prison Mais pour la premire fois, nous tions tmoins de quelqu’un jet coups de pieds hors de prison.

Aprs presque un an de militantisme sans rsultats tangibles, le mouvement commence faiblir et se diviser entre radicaux et modrs. Lors d’une manifestation, des jeunes Noirs jettent des pierres sur la police: Martin Luther King demande une suspension de toutes les protestations et un jour de pnitence pour promouvoir la non-violence et maintenir le moral. Plus tard, il est nouveau arrt et dtenu deux semaines.

Si malgr la mobilisation le mouvement Albany ne russit pas obtenir des rsultats immdiats, il sert de leon stratgique King et au mouvement des droits civiques qui dcident de se concentrer sur des sujets spcifiques afin d’obtenir des victoires symboliques:

L’erreur que je fis tait de protester contre la sgrgation en gnral plutt que contre une seule de ses facettes distinctes. [] Une victoire de ce type aurait t symbolique et aurait galvanis notre soutien et notre moral Quand on planifia notre stratgie pour Birmingham des mois aprs, nous avons pass de nombreuses heures valuer Albany et essayer d’apprendre de nos erreurs. Notre examen ne nous aida pas seulement rendre nos futures tactiques plus efficaces, mais rvla aussi qu’Albany tait loin d’tre un chec total.

Nanmoins, le militantisme local continue alors que l’attention des mdia se tourne vers d’autres sujets. Le printemps suivant, la ville annulera toutes ses lois sgrgationnistes.

En 1960, la population de Birmingham est de 350000 personnes, 65% blanches et 35% noires[15]. C’est alors une ville qui maintient et assure par la loi locale la plus grande sgrgation raciale des tats-Unis dans tous les aspects de la vie, aussi bien dans les tablissements publics que privs[16]. cette poque, seulement 10% de la population noire sont inscrits sur les listes lectorales[17] et le niveau de vie moyen est infrieur de moiti celui des Blancs, les salaires pour un mme poste tant communment trs infrieurs[18]. Birmingham n’a ni agent de police noir, ni pompier, ni vendeur en magasin, ni conducteur ou employ de banque, l’emploi pour la population noire est limit aux seuls travaux manuels aux aciries. Une secrtaire noire ne peut travailler pour un patron blanc. Le chmage des Noirs est deux fois et demi plus lev que celui des Blancs[19]. Cinquante attentats racistes non lucids entre 1945 et 1962 ont donn la ville le surnom de Bombingham[20]. Les glises noires o les droits civiques sont discuts sont des cibles privilgies[21] et la ville est particulirement violente contre les freedom riders.

Un responsable des droits civiques local, le pasteur Shuttlesworth, essaye bien de lutter en gagnant en justice la dsgrgation des parcs de la ville, mais la ville ragit en les fermant. Le domicile et l’glise o le pasteur exerce sont alors la cible de plusieurs attentats la bombe[22]. Aprs l’arrestation de Shuttlesworth en 1962 pour avoir viol les lois sgrgationnistes et aprs qu’une ptition au maire a t jete la poubelle selon le maire lui-mme[23], le pasteur demande l’aide de Martin Luther King et du SCLC, en soulignant le rle crucial de Birmingham dans la lutte nationale pour l’galit raciale[24].

Les protestations commencent par un boycott Pques 1963, pour inciter les chefs d’entreprise ouvrir les emplois de vendeurs et d’autres postes aux personnes de toute races, et arrter la sgrgation dans les magasins, par exemple sous la forme de caisses rserves aux Blancs. Quand les dirigeants conomiques rsistent au boycott, King et le SCLC commencent ce qu’ils appellent le projet C, une srie de manifestations non-violentes telles que des sit-ins dans les restaurants et bibliothques, agenouillement de personnes noires dans les glises rserves aux Blancs, marches de protestation pacifiques, le tout ralis pour provoquer des arrestations. Martin Luther King rsume la philosophie de la campagne de Birmingham[25]:

Le propos de [] l’action directe est de crer une situation qui dclenche un tel nombre de crises qu’elle ouvre invitablement la porte des ngociations.

Il est lui-mme arrt le 13 avril, et c’est l qu’il crit la clbre Lettre de la prison de Birmingham (Letter from Birmingham Jail), un trait dfinissant sa lutte contre la sgrgation. Il reoit un soutien direct du prsident John Fitzgerald Kennedy, sa femme Coretta celui de Jacqueline Kennedy; il est libr une semaine plus tard.

Alors que la campagne n’a plus assez de volontaires, les organisateurs, malgr les hsitations de Martin Luther King[26], recrutent des tudiants et des enfants dans ce qui est appel par les mdias la croisade des enfants. Le 2 mai, des centaines d’tudiants, lycens et coliers sont prpars et entrans participer pacifiquement aux manifestations. Ils sont arrts de manire violente par la police qui utilise des chiens, mais aussi des jets d’eau haute pression d’une telle force qu’ils pouvaient dchirer les vtements ou projeter une jeune femme par dessus une voiture[27]. En raction et malgr les instructions du SCLC, des parents et des passants commencent jeter des projectiles sur la police mais sont raisonns par les organisateurs. La dcision d’utiliser des enfants mme dans une manifestation non-violente est trs critique, entre autres par le ministre de la justice Robert Francis Kennedy et le militant Malcolm X qui dclare que les vrais hommes ne mettent pas leurs enfants dans la ligne de mire[28]. Martin Luther King, qui est rest silencieux et en dehors de la ville quand un de ses amis organisait les manifestations des enfants, comprend le succs de l’vnement et dclare au culte du soir[29]:

J’ai t inspir et touch par ce jour et je n’avais jamais rien vu de la sorte.

Les scnes de violences policires largement relayes par les mdia causent des ractions internationales et mettent en lumire la sgrgation raciale ayant lieu dans le sud des tats-Unis. Le snateur de l’Oregon Wayne Morse compare Birmingham l’apartheid en Afrique du Sud[30]. Les prisons sont pleines, certains enfants se prsentant directement devant elles en chantant pour tre arrts. La ville est au bord de l’effondrement civil et conomique, car aucun commerce du centre-ville ne fonctionne plus.

Le gouverneur George Wallace envoie la police de l’tat pour soutenir le chef de la police locale.

Robert Kennedy envoie la Garde nationale pour viter tout dbordement le 13 mai, la suite de deux attentats la bombe contre un htel o avait rsid Martin Luther King et contre la maison du frre de celui-ci, attentats qui avaient dgnr en manifestations contre les policiers. Le 21 mai le maire dmissionne, le chef de la police est renvoy et en juin toutes les pancartes sgrgationnistes sont enleves et les lieux publics ouverts aux Noirs[31].

la fin de la campagne, la rputation de King s’est considrablement renforce[32] et Birmingham est un lment du succs de la marche vers Washington.

Le dimanche 15 septembre, un attentat la bombe du Ku Klux Klan contre l’glise baptiste de la 16e rue, pendant la prire, provoque la mort de quatre jeunes filles noires et blesse 22 enfants. L’attaque provoque l’indignation nationale et renforce le mouvement des droits civiques.

Reprsentant le SCLC, Martin Luther King est le dirigeant d’une des six grandes organisations pour les droits civiques qui organisent la marche vers Washington pour le travail et la libert. Il est l’un de ceux qui acceptent le souhait du prsident John F. Kennedy de changer le message de la marche.

Le prsident, qui avait dj soutenu publiquement Martin Luther King et tait dj intervenu plusieurs fois pour le faire sortir de prison[33], s’tait initialement oppos au principe de la marche car il craignait un impact ngatif sur le vote de la loi sur les droits civiques. Le but initial de la marche tait de montrer la situation dsespre des Afro-Amricains des tats du Sud et l’chec du gouvernement fdral assurer leurs droits et leur scurit. Le groupe des six accepte sous la pression et l’influence prsidentielle de passer un message moins radical. Certains militants des droits civiques pensent alors que la marche ne prsente plus qu’une vision inexacte et dulcore de la situation des Noirs; Malcolm X l’appelle alors La farce sur Washington, et les membres de l’organisation Nation of Islam qui participent la marche seront suspendus temporairement[34].

La marche fait cependant des demandes spcifiques:

En dpit des tensions, la marche est un norme succs. Plus de 250000 personnes[35] de toutes les ethnies se runissent le 28 aot 1963 face au Lincoln Memorial, dans ce qui est la plus grande manifestation ayant eu lieu jusque l dans l’histoire de la capitale amricaine.

Le point d’orgue du combat de Martin Luther King est son illustre discours I have a dream, o il manifeste sa volont et son espoir de connatre une Amrique fraternelle. Cette dclaration est considre comme un des meilleurs discours de l’histoire amricaine avec le Discours de Gettysburg du seizime Prsident des tats-Unis Abraham Lincoln.

Malgr l’arrt de 1954 de la Cour suprme Brown v. Board of Education, qui dclare la sgrgation raciale inconstitutionnelle dans les coles publiques, seuls 6 enfants noirs sont admis dans les coles blanches St. Augustine en Floride. Les maisons de deux familles de ces enfants sont brles par des sgrgationnistes blancs et d’autres familles sont forces de quitter la rgion parce que les parents sont renvoys de leur emploi et n’arrivent plus en retrouver d’autre localement.

En mai et juin 1964, une action directe est mene par Martin Luther King et d’autres dirigeants des droits civiques. Une marche de nuit autour de l’ancien march aux esclaves voit les manifestants attaqus par des sgrgationnistes blancs et entrane des centaines d’arrestations. Les prisons tant trop petites, les dtenus sont parqus en plein soleil les jours suivants. Des manifestants sont jets la mer par la police et par les sgrgationnistes et manquent de se noyer lors d’une tentative pour rejoindre les plages Anastasia Island rserves aux Blancs.

La tension atteint son comble quand un groupe de manifestants noirs et blancs se jettent dans la piscine du motel Monson, interdite aux Noirs. La photographie d’un policier plongeant pour arrter un manifestant et celle du propritaire du motel versant de l’acide chlorhydrique dans la piscine pour faire sortir les militants firent le tour du monde et servirent mme aux tats communistes pour discrditer le discours de libert des tats-Unis. Les manifestants endurent les violences physiques et verbales sans riposter, ce qui entrane un mouvement de sympathie nationale et aide au vote du Civil Rights Act le 2 juillet 1964.

Le 14 octobre 1964, Martin Luther King devient le plus jeune laurat du Prix Nobel de la paix pour avoir men une rsistance non-violente dans le but d’liminer les prjudices raciaux aux tats-Unis.

En dcembre 1964, Martin Luther et le SCLC joignent nouveau leurs forces celles du Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Selma, Alabama, o le SNCC travaille l’enregistrement des lecteurs sur les listes lectorales depuis des mois[36]. Selma est alors un lieu important pour la dfense du droit de vote des Afro-Amricains. La moiti des habitants de la ville sont noirs mais seulement 1% d’entre eux est inscrit sur les listes lectorales; le bureau d’enregistrement, qui n’est accessible que deux jours par mois, ouvre en retard et subit des pauses djeuner rallonge[37].

Le dimanche 7 mars 1965, 600 dfenseurs des droits civiques quittent Selma pour tenter de rejoindre Montgomery, la capitale de l’tat, pour prsenter leurs dolances au moyen d’une marche pacifique. Ils sont arrts au bout de quelques kilomtres au pont Edmund Pettus par la police et une foule hostile qui les repoussent violemment coup de matraques et de gaz lacrymogne. Ce jour sera connu sous le nom de Bloody Sunday[38] et marqua un tournant dans la lutte pour les droits civiques. Les reportages montrant les violences policires permettent au mouvement de gagner le soutien de l’opinion publique et soulignent le succs de la stratgie non-violente de Martin Luther King, qui n’est pas prsent lors de cette premire marche, tentant de la retarder aprs sa rencontre avec le prsident Lyndon B. Johnson.

Deux jours aprs, Martin Luther mne une marche symbolique jusqu’au pont, une action qu’il semblait avoir ngocie avec les autorits locales et qui provoqua l’incomprhension des militants de Selma. Le mouvement cherche alors la protection de la justice afin d’accomplir la marche et le juge de la Cour fdrale Frank Minis Johnson, Jr., tranche en faveur des manifestants:

La loi est claire sur le fait que le droit de ptitionner ses griefs auprs du gouvernement peut tre exerc en groupe de grande amplitude [] et ces droits peuvent tre exercs par une marche, mme le long d’une route publique.

3200 marcheurs partent finalement de Selma le dimanche 21 mars 1965, parcourant 20km par jour et dormant dans les champs. C’est pendant ce trajet que Willie Ricks labora le terme Black Power. Au moment o ils atteignent le capitole de Montgomery, le jeudi 25 mars, les marcheurs sont 25000. Martin Luther King prononce alors le discours How Long, Not Long (Combien de Temps, Peu de Temps). Le jour mme, la militante blanche des droits civiques Viola Liuzzo est assassine par le Ku Klux Klan, alors qu’elle ramne des marcheurs dans sa voiture. Martin Luther assiste ses funrailles et le prsident Johnson intervient directement la tlvision pour annoncer l’arrestation des coupables.

Moins de cinq mois plus tard, le prsident Johnson signe le Voting Rights Act accordant le droit de vote sans restriction.

En 1966, aprs les succs du sud, Martin Luther King et d’autres organisations de dfense des droits civiques essayent d’tendre le mouvement vers le nord, Chicago devenant l’objectif principal. Martin Luther et Ralph Abernathy, tous les deux de classe moyenne, dmnagent vers les bidonvilles de Chicago dans le cadre d’une exprience ducative et pour montrer leur soutien et empathie avec les pauvres.

La SCLC forme une alliance avec la CCCO (Coordinating Council of Community Organizations), une organisation fonde par Albert Raby, Jr., et avec le CFM (Chicago Freedom Movement). Au printemps, des tests sont raliss par des couples, noirs ou blancs, afin de dvoiler les pratiques discriminatoires des socits immobilires. Les tests rvlent que la slection des couples qui postulent pour un logement n’est aucunement base sur le revenu, le parcours, le nombre d’enfants ou d’autres caractristiques socio-conomiques (car les couples ont exactement les mmes), mais bien sur la couleur de peau.

Plusieurs grandes marches pacifiques sont organises dans Chicago et, Abernathy l’crira plus tard, l’accueil qui leur est rserv est pire que dans le sud. Ils sont reus par une foule haineuse et des lancers de bouteilles, et Martin Luther et lui commencent vraiment craindre qu’une meute se dclenche. Les croyances de Martin Luther King se heurtent sa responsabilit d’emmener les siens vers un vnement violent. Si Martin Luther a la conviction qu’une marche pacifique sera disperse dans la violence, il prfre l’annuler pour la scurit de tous, comme ce fut le cas lors du bloody sunday. Il conduit nanmoins ces marches malgr des menaces de mort sur sa personne. La violence Chicago est si intense qu’elle bouleverse les deux amis.

Un autre problme est la duplicit des dirigeants de la ville quand King est confront la machine politique du maire Richard Daley, considr le dernier boss d’une grande ville amricaine. la suite des demandes de King d’intgration raciale de certains quartiers comme Chicago Lawn, Daley organise une confrence au sommet et signe un accord avec King et Abernathy pour arrter la discrimination sur le logement. Mais l’accord qui n’a aucune tendue lgale est ensuite largement ignor par la mairie[39]. Abernathy ne peut plus supporter les conditions de vie dans les taudis et dmnage secrtement aprs un court moment. Martin Luther King reste et crit sur l’impact motionnel que cela reprsente pour Coretta et ses enfants de vivre dans des conditions aussi dures.

Quand Martin Luther et ses allis retournent chez eux, ils laissent Jesse Jackson, un jeune sminariste qui avait dj particip aux actions dans le sud, qui organise les premiers boycotts russis pour le droit l’accs aux mmes emplois, ce qui sera un succs tel qu’il dbouchera sur le programme d’opportunits gales dans les annes 1970.

partir de 1965, Martin Luther King commence exprimer ses doutes sur le rle des tats-Unis dans la guerre du Vit Nam. Le 4 avril 1967, un an avant sa mort, il fait New-York le discours Au-del du Vit Nam: le moment de briser le silence. Il y dnonce l’attitude des tats-Unis au Vit Nam et insiste sur le fait qu’ils occupent le pays comme une colonie amricaine et appelle le gouvernement amricain le plus grand fournisseur de violence dans le monde aujourd’hui. Il insiste aussi sur le fait que le pays a besoin d’un plus grand changement moral[40]:

Une vraie rvolution des valeurs regarderait bientt d’une manire honteuse les contrastes frappants entre la pauvret et la richesse. Avec une indignation justifie, elle regarderait au-del des mers et verrait les capitalistes individualistes de l’Ouest investissant d’normes sommes d’argent en Asie, en Afrique et en Amrique du Sud, juste pour faire des profits et sans aucune proccupation pour les amliorations sociales dans ces pays, elle dirait: Ce n’est pas juste.

Il considre que le Vit Nam rend difficile d’atteindre les objectifs noncs par Johnson lors de son discours sur l’tat de l’Union de 1964, annonant une guerre contre la pauvret. Martin Luther King tait dj ha par de nombreux Blancs racistes des tats du sud, mais ce discours retourne de nombreux mdias importants contre lui. Time appelle le discours une calomnie dmagogique qui ressemblait un script de Radio Hanoi, et le The Washington Post dclare que King a diminu son utilit sa cause, son pays, son peuple.

Martin Luther dclare souvent que le Vit Nam du nord n’avait pas commenc envoyer un grand nombre de provisions ou d’hommes tant que les forces amricaines n’taient pas arrives par dizaines de milliers. Il acclame galement la rforme agraire entreprise par le nord[41]. Il accuse aussi les tats-Unis d’avoir tu un million de vietnamiens, surtout des enfants[42]. Il propose dans une lettre le moine bouddhiste et pacifiste vietnamien Thich Nhat Hanh, qui lutte pour l’arrt du conflit, au prix Nobel de la paix de l’anne 1967.

Martin Luther King dit aussi dans son discours[43] que la vraie compassion, c’est plus que jeter une pice un mendiant; elle permet de voir qu’un difice qui produit des mendiants a besoin d’une restructuration. [] du Vit Nam l’Afrique du Sud en passant par l’Amrique latine, les tats-Unis sont du mauvais ct de la rvolution mondiale. Martin Luther questionne notre alliance avec les propritaires terriens de l’Amrique latine et demande pourquoi les tats-Unis rpriment au lieu de soutenir les rvolutions des peuples pieds-nus et sans chemise du tiers monde.

Le discours est un reflet de l’volution politique de Martin Luther King dans ses dernires annes, due en partie son affiliation avec le Highlander Research and Education Center progressiste. Martin Luther commence parler d’un besoin de changements fondamentaux dans la vie politique et conomique de la nation. Il exprime plus frquemment son opposition la guerre et le besoin de redistribuer les ressources pour corriger les injustices raciales et sociales. Bien que ses allocutions publiques soient rserves afin d’viter d’tre tiquetes communistes par ses ennemis politiques, en priv, il dclare souvent soutenir le socialisme dmocratique[44]:

Vous ne pouvez pas parler d’une rsolution du problme conomique des ngres sans parler de milliards de dollars. Vous ne pouvez pas parler de la fin des bidonvilles sans dire d’abord que les profits ne doivent plus tre faits sur les bidonvilles. Vous falsifiez vraiment parce que vous avez affaire des gens maintenant. Vous avez affaire des capitaines d’industrie [] Maintenant a signifie que vous vous dplacez dans une mer agite, parce que a signifie qu’il y a quelque chose qui ne va pas avec Le capitalisme Il doit y avoir une meilleure distribution des richesses et peut-tre que l’Amrique doit se diriger vers un socialisme dmocratique.

Martin Luther King a lu Marx alors qu’il tait Morehouse, mais tandis qu’il rejette le capitalisme traditionnel, il rejette galement le communisme cause de son interprtation matrialiste de l’histoire qui nie la religion, son relativisme ethnique et son totalitarisme politique[45].

partir de novembre 1967, King et l’quipe du Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) se runirent pour discuter de la nouvelle lgislation, des meutes raciales (hot summers) et de l’apparition du Black Power [46]. Ils dcidrent alors d’organiser la Poor People’s Campaign (la Campagne des pauvres) afin de lutter pour la justice sociale. Qualifie par le pasteur de seconde phase dans le mouvement des droits civiques [46], celle-ci visait lutter contre la pauvret, d’o qu’elle vienne, et ne se restreignait donc pas la dfense des Afro-Amricains. King affirmait alors: Ce ne doit pas tre seulement les gens noirs, mais tous les pauvres. Nous devons inclure les Amrindiens, les Porto ricains, les Mexicains, et mme les Blancs pauvres. [46]

Cependant, la campagne n’est pas soutenue par tous les dirigeants du mouvement des droits civiques, y compris Bayard Rustin. Leur opposition inclut des arguments sur le fait que les buts de la campagne sont trop larges, les demandes irralisables et que cela acclrera le mouvement de rpression contre les pauvres et les Noirs[47].

Martin Luther King traverse le pays de long en large pour rassembler une arme multiraciale des pauvres qui marcherait sur Washington et engagerait une dsobissance civile pacifique au capitole, si besoin est jusqu’ ce que le congrs signe une dclaration des droits de l’homme du pauvre. Le Reader’s Digest parlera d’une insurrection.

Cette dclaration des pauvres demande un programme d’emplois gouvernementaux pour reconstruire les villes amricaines. Martin Luther King voit un besoin urgent de se confronter au congrs qui avait dmontr son hostilit aux pauvres en distribuant les fonds militaires avec gnrosit mais donnant des fonds aux pauvres avec avarice. Sa vision est celle d’un changement qui est plus rvolutionnaire qu’une simple rforme: il cite les dfauts systmatiques du racisme, de la pauvret, du militarisme et du matrialisme, et que la reconstruction de la socit elle-mme tait le vrai problme qu’il fallait rsoudre[48].

Mais l’assassinat de Luther King en avril 1968 affecta lourdement la campagne. Celle-ci fut tout de mme lance en mai, culminant avec une marche sur Washington, sans russir atteindre ses objectifs[46].

Fin mars 1968, Martin Luther King se dplace Memphis (Tennessee) pour soutenir les boueurs noirs locaux qui sont en grve depuis le 12 mars afin d’obtenir un meilleur salaire et un meilleur traitement. Les Afro-Amricains taient pays 1,70dollar de l’heure et n’taient pas pays quand ils ne pouvaient pas travailler pour raison climatique, contrairement aux travailleurs blancs[49],[50]. Des violences clatent autour des marches pacifiques, un jeune Afro-Amricain est tu[51].

Le 3 avril, au Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ, Inc. – sige mondial), Martin Luther fait le discours prophtique I’ve Been to the Mountaintop (J’ai t au sommet de la montagne) devant une foule euphorique:

Ce n’est pas vraiment important ce qui arrive maintenant Certains ont commenc [] parler des menaces qui se profilaient. Qu’est-ce qui pourrait m’arriver de la part d’un de nos frres blancs malades Comme tout le monde, j’aimerais vivre une longue vie. La longvit est importante mais je ne suis pas concern par a maintenant. Je veux juste accomplir la volont de Dieu. Et il m’a autoris grimper sur la montagne! Et j’ai regard autour de moi, et j’ai vu la terre promise. Je n’irai peut-tre pas l-bas avec vous. Mais je veux que vous sachiez ce soir, que nous, comme peuple, atteindrons la terre promise. Et je suis si heureux ce soir. Je n’ai aucune crainte. Je n’ai peur d’aucun homme. Mes yeux ont vu la gloire de la venue du Seigneur!

Le 4 avril 1968 18 h 01, Martin Luther King est assassin alors qu’il se trouve sur le balcon du Lorraine Motel Memphis dans le Tennessee. Ses dernires paroles sont dites au musicien Ben Branch qui devait se produire ce soir-l lors d’une runion publique laquelle assistait Martin Luther[52]:

Ben, prvois de jouer Precious Lord, Take My Hand [Seigneur, prends ma main] la runion de ce soir. Joue-le de la plus belle manire.

Ses amis l’intrieur de la chambre du motel entendent des coups de feu et courent sur le balcon pour trouver Martin Luther King abattu d’une balle dans la gorge. Il est dclar mort au St. Joseph’s Hospital 19 h 05.

L’assassinat provoque une vague d’meutes raciales dans 60 villes des tats-Unis (125 au total[53]) qui fait de nombreux morts et ncessite l’intervention de la garde nationale[54].

Cinq jours plus tard, le prsident Johnson dclare un jour de deuil national, le premier pour un Afro-Amricain, en l’honneur de Martin Luther King. 300000 personnes assistent ses funrailles[55] le mme jour, ainsi que le vice-prsident Hubert Humphrey. Johnson tait une runion sur le Vit Nam Camp David et il y avait des craintes que la prsence du prsident provoque des manifestations des pacifistes. Des meutes de colre clatent dans plus de 100 villes faisant 46 victimes[2].

la demande de sa veuve, Martin Luther fit sa propre oraison funbre avec son dernier sermon Drum Major enregistr l’Ebenezer Baptist Church. Dans ce sermon, il demande qu’ ses funrailles aucune mention de ses honneurs ne soit faite, mais qu’il soit dit qu’il avait essay de nourrir les affams, habiller les nus, tre droit sur la question du Vit Nam et aimer et servir l’humanit. sa demande, son amie Mahalia Jackson chante son hymne favori, Take My Hand, Precious Lord.

La ville de Memphis ngocie la fin de la grve d’une manire favorable aux boueurs aprs l’assassinat[56],[57].

D’aprs le biographe Taylor Branch, l’autopsie de King rvla que bien qu’il ait seulement 39 ans, son cur paraissait celui d’un homme g de 60 ans, montrant physiquement l’effet du stress de 13 ans dans le mouvement des droits civiques[58]. Entre 1957 et 1968, King avait voyag sur plus de 9,6 millions de kilomtres[pertinence conteste], parl en public plus de 2500 fois, t arrt par la police plus de vingt fois et agress physiquement au moins quatre fois[59].

Deux mois aprs la mort de Martin Luther King, James Earl Ray, un sgrgationniste blanc qui a des antcdents judiciaires de droit commun et est d’ailleurs vad de prison, est captur l’aroport de Londres Heathrow alors qu’il essaie de quitter le Royaume-Uni avec un faux passeport canadien au nom de Ramon George Sneyd. Ray est trs vite extrad au Tennessee et accus du meurtre de Martin Luther King, ayant avou l’assassinat le 10 mars 1969, avant de se rtracter trois jours aprs. Sur le conseil de son avocat Percy Foreman, Ray choisit de plaider coupable afin d’viter la peine de mort. Il est condamn 99 ans de prison.

Ray renvoie son avocat, clamant que les coupables du meurtre sont un certain Raoul et son frre Johnny qu’il a rencontr Montral au Canada. Il raconte de plus qu’il n’avait pas tir personnellement sur King mais qu’il pouvait tre partiellement responsable sans le savoir, indiquant une piste de conspiration. Il passe alors le reste de sa vie tenter vainement de faire rouvrir son procs sur la base de sa non-culpabilit.

Le 10 juin 1977, peu aprs avoir tmoign devant une commission du congrs sur les assassinats qu’il n’avait pas tu Martin Luther, il s’vade avec six autres condamns du pnitencier de Brushy Mountain au Tennessee. Il est repris le 13 juin et retourne en prison[60].

En 1997, Dexter Scott King, le fils de Martin Luther King, rencontre Ray et soutient publiquement les efforts de Ray pour obtenir un nouveau jugement[61].

En 1999, un an aprs la mort de Ray, Coretta Scott King, veuve de Martin Luther et dirigeante des droits civiques elle aussi, et le reste de la famille King gagnent un procs civil contre Loyd Jowers (propritaire d’un restaurant non loin du Motel) et d’autres conspirateurs. En dcembre 1993, Jowers tait apparu dans le Prime Time Live de ABC News et avait rvl des dtails d’une conspiration impliquant la mafia et le gouvernement pour tuer Martin Luther. Jowers raconte lors du procs avoir reu 100000 dollars pour organiser l’assassinat de Martin Luther King. Le jury de six Noirs et six Blancs juge Jowers coupable et mentionne que des agences fdrales taient associes au complot de l’assassinat[62]. William F. Pepper, ancien avocat de Ray, reprsente la famille de King lors du procs et produit 70 tmoins[63],[64],[65]. l’issue de celui-ci, la famille de Martin Luther King ne croit pas que Ray ait quelque chose voir avec l’assassinat[66].

En 2000, le Dpartement de la Justice des tats-Unis termine une enqute sur les rvlations de Jowers, mais ne trouve aucune preuve qui pourrait dmontrer une conspiration. Le rapport d’enqute recommande qu’il n’y ait aucune nouvelle recherche tant que de nouveaux faits fiables ne seraient pas prsents[67].

Certains spculent que Ray n’tait qu’un pion, de la mme faon que l’assassin de John F. Kennedy par Lee Harvey Oswald (voir Assassinat de John F. Kennedy). Les preuves avances par ses partisans sont:

Le 6 avril 2002, le New York Times rapporta qu’un pasteur, le rvrend Ronald Denton Wilson, dclarait que c’tait son pre Henry Clay Wilson qui avait assassin Martin Luther King, Jr., et non James Earl Ray. Il dit que ses motifs n’taient pas racistes mais politiques, pensant que King tait communiste[74].

En 2004, Jesse Jackson, qui tait avec King au moment de son assassinat, nota[75]:

Le fait est qu’il y avait des saboteurs pour perturber la marche. l’intrieur de notre propre organisation, on a dcouvert qu’une personne trs importante tait paye par le gouvernement. Donc infiltration l’intrieur, saboteurs l’extrieur et attaques de la presse. [] Je ne croirai jamais que James Earl Ray avait le motif, l’argent et la mobilit pour avoir fait cela lui-mme. Notre gouvernement a t trs impliqu prparer le terrain et je pense l’itinraire de fuite de James Earl Ray.

Un ami et collgue de King, James Bevel, rsume plus abruptement[52]:

Il n’y a aucun moyen qu’un garon blanc 10 cents puisse laborer un plan pour tuer un homme noir 10 millions de dollars.

Les biographes David Garrow et Gerald Posner s’opposent au contraire aux conclusions de William F. Pepper qui a amen le jugement de 1999 accusant le gouvernement d’implication dans le meurtre de Martin Luther King, Jr[76].

Dans la Lettre de la prison de Birmingham crite le 16 avril 1963 alors qu’il est arrt pour une manifestation non-violente, Martin Luther King rpond huit prtres blancs de l’Alabama qui ont crit quatre jours plus tt une lettre intitule Un appel l’unit. S’ils admettaient l’existence des injustices sociales, ils exprimaient la croyance que la bataille contre la sgrgation raciale devait avoir lieu dans les tribunaux et non dans la rue. Martin Luther rpond alors que sans des actions directes et puissantes comme celles qu’il entreprenait, les droits civiques ne seraient jamais obtenus.

Il crit: attendre a presque toujours signifi jamais, et il affirme que la dsobissance civile est non seulement justifie face une loi injuste, mais aussi que chacun a la responsabilit morale de dsobir aux lois injustes.

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Last modified December 8, 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 1 out of 10 based on academic quality.

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Family feud over Martin Luther King’s Bible, Nobel Prize …

ATLANTA An ownership dispute over the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize and traveling Bible is one step closer to trial.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney declined to rule Thursday in the dispute over the two items that has effectively pitted King’s two sons against his daughter. That means the case will likely go to trial unless the parties reach a settlement.

King’s estate, which is controlled by his two sons, in January 2014 asked a judge to order their sister to surrender the items. In a board of directors meeting that month Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King voted 2-1 against Bernice to sell the two artifacts to a private buyer.

Bernice opposed any sale and argued the items don’t belong to the estate.

The three surviving King children are the sole shareholders and directors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Estate Inc. In a vote in January 2014, Martin and Dexter voted 2-1 against Bernice to sell their father’s 1964 peace prize medal and traveling Bible to an unnamed private buyer.

Both items were in Bernice’s possession and lawyers for the estate filed a lawsuit just over a week later asking a judge to order Bernice to surrender both items. The Bible and Nobel medal have been in a safe deposit box, with the keys held by the court, since March 2014.

The case was set to go to trial in February 2015, but McBurney temporarily halted all action in the case after the parties asked for time to reach a settlement out of court.

Lawyers for the two sides told McBurney in May 2015 that that they were close to an agreement but not quite there. McBurney ordered them to use a mediator to resolve the dispute after a lawyer for Bernice asked the judge to order mediation and the estate’s lawyer did not object.

McBurney said Thursday that he was willing to allow that delay of more than a year because of “the very important issues that are at stake here.” He didn’t set a trial date during the hearing but mentioned mid-August as a possibility.

“I think it’s important to the parties and it’s important to the public that this case be treated like we here in the Superior Court try to treat all our civil cases, which is to keep them moving on and not give anyone special treatment just because what’s at stake might actually involve national and global legacies, which this one happens to do,” he said.

Former President Jimmy Carter in October confirmed that he was working as a mediator to try to help the King heirs resolve their dispute. A string of legal disputes has divided the King heirs in recent years, but Bernice, Martin III and Dexter released a joint statement expressing optimism after a meeting with Carter in October.

Attorneys representing Bernice King and King’s estate told McBurney on Thursday that they hadn’t reached an agreement. An attorney for the estate, Nicole Jennings Wade, described the parties as “very optimistic” and Bernice’s attorney, Eric Barnum, described remaining work as “fine-tuning.”

Attorneys for the estate and Bernice declined further comment following the hearing.

Bernice spoke from the pulpit of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in February 2014 and denounced what she said was a plan by her brothers to sell the Bible and Nobel medal, which she said were among their father’s most cherished possessions.

The estate’s lawyers had cited a 1995 agreement among King’s heirs to sign over their rights to many items they inherited from their father to the estate.

A lawyer for the estate said at a hearing shortly after the lawsuit was filed that money that would come in from the sale or lease of the Bible and Nobel medal was crucial to the estate’s viability.

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. His widow, Coretta Scott King, died in 2006. Yolanda King, the Kings’ eldest child, died in 2007. The three surviving children are the sole shareholders and directors of Martin Luther King Jr. Estate Inc.

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Martin Luther King Jr. – The New York Times

Jan. 15, 1929 to April 4, 1968

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

With these words, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. built a crescendo to his final speech on April 3, 1968. The next day, the civil rights leader was shot and killed on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.

At the roots Dr. Kings civil rights convictions was an even more profound faith in the basic goodness of man and the great potential of American democracy. These beliefs gave to his speeches a fervor that could not be stilled by criticism.

He rose in 1955 from a newly arrived minister in Montgomery, Ala. to a figure of national prominence. It was Dr. King who dramatized the Montgomery bus boycott with his decision to make it the testing ground, before the eyes of the nation, of his belief in the civil disobedience teachings of Thoreau and Gandhi.

In the summer of 1963, Dr. King led the March on Washington, stirring the emotions of millions with the words I have a dream. On Dec. 10, 1964, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

His strong beliefs in civil rights and non-violence made him one of the leading opponents to American participation in the war in Vietnam.

At the time he was assassinated in Memphis, Dr. King was involved in one of his greatest plans to dramatize the plight of the poor and stir Congress to help blacks. He called his venture the Poor Peoples Campaign. — Adapted from the New York Times’ obituary. April 5, 1968.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Martin Luther King, Jr.

King in 1964

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 April 4, 1968), was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.

King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and speak against the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. Allegations that James Earl Ray, the man convicted of killing King, had been framed or acted in concert with government agents persisted for decades after the shooting.

King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.

King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and Alberta Williams King.[1] King’s legal name at birth was Michael King,[2] and his father was also born Michael King, but the elder King changed his and his son’s names following a 1934 trip to Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin. It was during this time he chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther.[3][4] King had Irish ancestry through his paternal great-grandfather.[5][6]

Martin, Jr., was a middle child, between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King. King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind.[8] King liked singing and music. King’s mother, an accomplished organist and choir leader, took him to various churches to sing. He received attention for singing “I Want to Be More and More Like Jesus.” King later became a member of the junior choir in his church.[9]

King said his father regularly whipped him until he was fifteen and a neighbor reported hearing the elder King telling his son “he would make something of him even if he had to beat him to death.” King saw his father’s proud and unafraid protests in relation to segregation, such as Martin, Sr., refusing to listen to a traffic policeman after being referred to as “boy” or stalking out of a store with his son when being told by a shoe clerk that they would have to move to the rear to be served.[10]

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Martin Luther King Jr. – Biography – Nobel Peace Prize

Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.

In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.

At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.

Selected Bibliography

Adams, Russell, Great Negroes Past and Present, pp. 106-107. Chicago, Afro-Am Publishing Co., 1963.

Bennett, Lerone, Jr., What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Chicago, Johnson, 1964.

I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King in Text and Pictures. New York, Time Life Books, 1968.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. – Simple English Wikipedia, the free …

Martin Luther King, Jr. King in 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 April 4, 1968)[1] was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for improving civil rights by using nonviolent civil disobedience, based on his Christian beliefs. Because he was both a Ph.D. and a pastor, King is sometimes called The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. (abbreviated the Rev. Dr. King), or just Dr. King.[a] He is also known by his initials, MLK. King worked hard to make people understand that not only blacks but that all races should always be treated equally to white people. He gave speeches to encourage African Americans to protest without using violence. Led by Dr. King and others, many African Americans used nonviolent, peaceful strategies to fight for their civil rights. These strategies included sit-ins, boycotts, and protest marches. Often they were attacked by white police officers or people who did not want African Americans to have more rights. However, no matter how badly they were attacked, Dr. King and his followers never fought back. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. The next year, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. King fought for equal rights from the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 until he was murdered by James Earl Ray in April 1968. Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. Although the name “Michael” appeared on his birth certificate, his name was later changed to Martin Luther in honor of German reformer Martin Luther.[2] As King was growing up, everything in Georgia was segregated. This meant that black and white people were not allowed to go to the same schools, use the same public bathrooms, eat at the same restaurants, or even go to the same hospitals. Everything was separate. However, the white hospitals, schools, and other places were usually much better than the places where black people were allowed to go.[3] At age 6, King first went through discrimination (being treated worse than a white person because he was black). He was sent to an all-black school, and a white friend was sent to an all-white school.[1] Once, when he was 14, King won a contest with a speech about civil rights. When he was going back home on a bus, he was forced to give up his seat and stand for the bus ride so a white person could sit down.[1] At the time, white people were seen as more important than black people. If a white person wanted a seat, that person could take the seat from any African American.[3] King later said having to give up his seat made him “the angriest I’ve ever been in my life.”[4] King went to segregated schools in Georgia, and finished high school at age 15.[2] He went on to Morehouse College in Georgia, where his father and grandfather had gone.[2] After graduating from college in 1948, King decided he was not exactly the type of person to join the Baptist Church. He was not sure what kind of career he wanted. He thought about being a doctor or a lawyer. He decided not to do either, and joined the Baptist Church. [5] King went to a seminary in Pennsylvania to become a pastor. While studying there, King learned about the non-violent methods used by Mahatma Gandhi against the British Empire in India. King was convinced that these non-violent methods would help the civil rights movement.[6] Finally, in 1955, King earned a Ph.D. from Boston University’s School of Theology.[1] King first started his civil rights activism in 1955. At that time, he led a protest against the way black people were segregated on buses.[7] They had to sit at the back of the bus, separate from white people.[3] He told his supporters, and the people who were against equal rights, that people should only use peaceful ways to solve the problem.[8] King was chosen as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), which was created during the boycott. Rosa Parks later said: “Dr. King was chosen in part because he was relatively new to the community and so [he] did not have any enemies.”[9] King ended up becoming an important leader of the boycott, becoming famous around the country, and making many enemies.[10] King was arrested for starting a boycott. He was fined $500, plus $500 more in court costs.[11] His house was fire-bombed. Others involved with MIA were also threatened.[7] However, by December 1956, segregation had been ended on Montgomery’s buses. People could sit anywhere they wanted on the buses.[12] After the bus boycott, King and Ralph Abernathy started the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).[7] The group decided that they would only use non-violence. Its motto was “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.”[13] The SCLC chose King as its president.[7] In 1963, King helped plan the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This was the largest protest for human rights in United States history.[14] On August 28, 1963, about 250,000 people marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial.[14][15] Then they listed to civil rights leaders speak. King was the last speaker. His speech, called “I Have a Dream,” became one of history’s most famous civil rights speeches.[16] King talked about his dream that one day, white and black people would be equal. That same year, the United States government passed the Civil Rights Act. This law made many kinds of discrimination against black people illegal.[17] The March on Washington made it clear to the United States government that they needed to take action on civil rights, and it helped get the Civil Rights Act passed.[18] In 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[2] When presenting him with the award, the Chairman of the Nobel Committee said: Today, now that mankind [has] the atom bomb, the time has come to lay our weapons and armaments aside and listen to the message Martin Luther King has given us[:] “The choice is either nonviolence or nonexistence”…. King and many others then started working on the problem of racism in voting. At the time, many of the Southern states had laws which made it very hard or impossible for African-Americans to vote. For example, they would make African Americans pay extra taxes, pass reading tests, or pass tests about the Constitution. White people did not have to do these things.[19] In 1963 and 1964, civil rights groups in Selma, Alabama had been trying to sign African-American people up to vote, but they had not been able to. At the time, 99% of the people signed up to vote in Selma were white.[20] However, the government workers who signed up voters were all white. They refused to sign up African-Americans.[19] In January 1965, these civil rights groups asked King and the SCLC to help them. Together, they started working on voting rights.[1] However, the next month, an African-American man named Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot by a police officer during a peaceful march. Jackson died.[21]pp.121-123 Many African-American people were very angry. The SCLC decided to organize a march from Selma to Montgomery.[22] By walking 54 miles (87 kilometers) to the state capital, activists hoped to show how badly African-Americans wanted to vote. They also wanted to show that they would not let racism or violence stop them from getting equal rights.[20] The first march was on March 7, 1965. Police officers, and people they had chosen to help them, attacked the marchers with clubs and tear gas. They threatened to throw the marchers off the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Seventeen marchers had to go to the hospital, and 50 others were also injured.[23] This day came to be called Bloody Sunday. Pictures and film of the marchers being beaten were shown around the world, in newspapers and on television.[24] Seeing these things made more people support the civil rights activists. People came from all over the United States to march with the activists. One of them, James Reeb, was attacked by white people for supporting civil rights. He died on March 11, 1965.[25] Finally, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to send soldiers from the United States Army and the Alabama National Guard to protect the marchers.[21] From March 21 to March 25, the marchers walked along the “Jefferson Davis Highway” from Selma to Montgomery.[21] Led by King and other leaders, 25,000 people who entered Montgomery on March 25.[21] He gave a speech called “How Long? Not Long” at the Alabama State Capitol. He told the marchers that it would not be long before they had equal rights, “because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”[26] On August 6, 1965, the United States passed the Voting Rights Act. This law made it illegal to stop somebody from voting because of their race.[27] After this, King continued to fight poverty and the Vietnam War.[1] King had made enemies by working for civil rights and becoming such a powerful leader. The Ku Klux Klan did what they could to hurt King’s reputation, especially in the South. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) watched King closely. They wiretapped his phones, his home, and the phones and homes of his friends.[28] On April 4, 1968, King was in Memphis, Tennessee. He planned to lead a protest march to support garbage workers who were on strike. At 6:01 pm, King was shot while he was standing on the balcony of his motel room.[29]pp.284-285 The bullet entered through his right cheek and travelled down his neck. It cut open the biggest veins and arteries in King’s neck before stopping in his shoulder.[30] King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital. His heart had stopped. Doctors there cut open his chest and tried to make his heart start pumping again.[30] However, they were unable to save King’s life. He died at 7:05 p.m.[29]pp.284-285 King’s death led to riots in many cities.[31] In March 1969, James Earl Ray was found guilty of killing King. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.[32] Ray died in 1998.[33] Just days after King’s death, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968.[34] Title VIII of the Act, usually called the Fair Housing Act, made it illegal to discriminate in housing because of a person’s race, religion, or home country. (For example, this made it illegal for a realtor to refuse to let a black family buy a house in a white neighborhood.) This law was seen as a tribute to King’s last few years of work fighting housing discrimination in the United States.[34] … I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry… to clothe those who were naked… to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. [35] Martin Luther King, Jr., February 4, 1968 After his death, King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[36] King and his wife were also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.[37] In 1986, the United States government created a national holiday in King’s honor. It is called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is celebrated on the third Monday in January.[1] This is around the time of King’s birthday. Many people fought for the holiday to be created, including singer Stevie Wonder. In 2003, the United States Congress passed a law allowing the beginning words of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech to be carved into the Lincoln Memorial.[38] King County in the state of Washington, where Seattle is located in, is named after King.[39] Originally, the county was named after William R. King, an American politician who owned slaves.[39] In 2005, the King County government decided the county would now be named after Martin Luther King, Jr. Two years later, they changed their official logo to include a picture of King.[39] More than 900 streets in the United States have also been named after King. These streets exist in 40 different states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico.[40] In 2011, a memorial statue of King was put up on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. There are also memorials for King around the world. These include:[41] Rosa Parks with King during the bus boycott (1955) View of the protestors at the March on Washington (1963) Police and protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965) King speaks at an anti-Vietnam War rally at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul (1967)

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Martin Luther King Jr. – A Historical Examination: The Death …

The Death of the Dream: The Day Martin Luther King Was Shot Left to right: Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Ralph David Abernathy on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel Memphis hotel, a day before King’s assassination. April 3, 1968. The picture above has been shown millions of times. King, the day before his death, greeting his supporters. What is not publicly known is what happened the night before his death. Newsweek magazine from January 19, 1998 gives you a small glimpse of the real Martin Luther King Jr. Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65. (book reviews) Jon Meacham 01/19/98 Newsweek, Page 62 January 6, 1964, was a long day for Martin Luther King Jr. He spent the morning seated in the reserved section of the Supreme Court, listening as lawyers argued New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, a landmark case rising out of King’s crusade against segregation in Alabama. The minister was something of an honored guest: Justice Arthur Goldberg quietly sent down a copy of Kings account of the Montgomery bus boycott, “Stride Toward Freedom,” asking for an autograph. That night King retired to his room at the Willard Hotel. There FBI bugs reportedly picked up 14 hours of party chatter, the clinking of glasses and the sounds of illicit sex–including King’s cries of “I’m f–ing for God” and “I’m not a Negro tonight!” Note: What is not mentioned in this article is that Martin Luther King was having sex with three White women, one of whom he brutally beat while screaming the above mentioned quotes. Much of the public information on King’s use of church money to hire prostitutes and his beating them came from King’s close personal friend, Rev. Ralph Abernathy (pictured above), in his 1989 book, “And the walls came tumbling down.” Sources: Newsweek Magazine 1-19-1998, page 62 “And the walls came tumbling down,” by Rev. Ralph Abernathy (1989)

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Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) | New Georgia Encyclopedia

Early Life and Education, 1929-1955 Family, church, and education shaped King’s life from an early age. Michael Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929, to Alberta Williams and Michael Luther King Sr. In 1934, after visiting Europe, Michael King Sr. changed his and his son’s name in honor of the sixteenth-century German church reformer Martin Luther. King spent his early years in the family home at 501 Auburn Avenue, about a block from Ebenezer Baptist Church. His maternal grandfather, A. D. Williams, was pastor at Ebenezer from 1894 until 1931. After Williams’s death, the elder King succeeded his father-in-law at the pulpit. King was educated in Atlanta, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1944. He then enrolled at Morehouse College,where Williams had studied. King first considered studying medicine or law but decided to major in sociology. He ultimately found the call to the ministry irresistible, however. He served as assistant to his father at Ebenezer while studying at Morehouse. In February 1948 King Sr. ordained his son as a Baptist minister. After graduating from Morehouse in June 1948, King studied for a divinity degree at Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania, and graduated in May 1951. The following September King enrolled in the Ph.D. program in systematic theologyat Boston University. There he met his future wife, Coretta Scott. King’s father preferred that his son marry an Atlanta woman and initially opposed King’s plans to marry Coretta. When King refused to back down, his father relented, and on June 18, 1953, he performed the marriage ceremony at the Scott family home in rural Perry County, Alabama. During his last year of residential studies at Boston University, King sought employment while he finished his dissertation. Through a family friend he learned of a vacant position at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King desired a pulpit in a southern city but also wanted to escape Atlanta and gain independence from his father, so he arranged a trial sermon. King was offered the position, and in 1954 he moved to Montgomery with Coretta. In June 1955 King received his Ph.D. The Kings’ first child, Yolanda Denise, was born November 17, 1955. At the meeting black leaders agreed on a one-day boycott. When this was successful, they agreed to extend the action. King was asked to head the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), a new organization formed to run the bus boycott. He had not planned to take a leading role, but he agreed to serve. The boycott ran for 381 days. Throughout, whites in Montgomery tried to stymie it. King and other MIA members were arrested. Segregationists even bombed King’s home. The intimidation strengthened the resolve of the black community. The initial demands of the MIA for a modified system of segregation on city buses evolved into a lawsuit that called for its total abolishment. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional. On December 21, 1956, King was among the first passengers to board an integrated bus. The bus boycott made King a national symbol of black protest. In the next few years he spoke alongside other national black leaders and met with U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower and a host of foreign dignitaries. In 1958 King published Stride toward Freedom, his account of the Montgomery boycott. His newfound recognition came at a price. In September 1958 a mentally ill black woman, Izola Ware Curry, stabbed King in the chest at a book signing in New York. King barely survived the injury. Earlier that month, police in Montgomery had again arrested King. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to take an interest in him, starting a covert surveillance of his activities that continued for the rest of his life. Learning from Albany, King and the SCLC carefully chose their next targetin 1963. In Birmingham, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) under the leadership of the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth provided an established local base for protest. Specific goals and a strategy for the movement were drawn up in advance. As expected, the Birmingham police chief Eugene “Bull” Connor met protestors with force, using police dogs and high-power fire hoses to break up demonstrations. The conflict brought national news headlines and federal intervention, and pulled local white businessmen to the negotiating table. The campaign made significant gains in desegregating downtown facilities and in opening up black employment opportunities, although segregationist violence in the city remained a serious problem. Arrested and jailed for eight days during the Birmingham campaign, King composed his well-known “Letter from Birmingham Jail” during his incarceration. Not everything went King’s way. After a surge in white violencein Birmingham,attempts to renew demonstrationsmet with stiff opposition and failed to make much headway.King lost a carefully cultivated federal ally whenU.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, though the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, proved equally if not more sympathetic with the civil rights movement. TheSCLClaunched a newcampaignin St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964, but it failed to win meaningful concessions for local blacks. King’s attempts to mediate the seating of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegation at the 1964 Democratic Party convention failed as well. Around the same time the FBI stepped up its campaign of harassment and intimidation against King. As was often the case in King’s relatively short public career, victory and defeat, as well as advancement and setback, were never far apart. King responded to these developments in a variety of ways. He took the SCLC into the northern ghettos in an attempt to alleviate the conditions that caused the urban riots. He opposed much of the angry rhetoric of Black Power and continued to stress the importance of nonviolence. He spoke out ever more stridently in opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He opposed conservative politicians who sought to exploit white racial fears. He also gained new insight about black problems in the United States as the movement shifted from tackling segregation to confronting the problem of racial discrimination. In 1965-66 the SCLC launched its first northern campaign in Chicago. King felt that the urban riots in northern cities underlined the need for SCLC assistance, focusing on such issues as black employment, housing, and education opportunities. The Chicago campaign highlighted the difficulties of fighting entrenched racism. The city was much bigger than previous communities in which the SCLC had worked. Discrimination was much more difficult to dramatize than segregation. SCLC funds declined, making operations even more problematic. Despite some successes, the SCLC failed to make the desired impact on black advancement in Chicago. King was selected as one of the inaugural honorees for the Extra Mile Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, a monument in Washington, D.C., that celebrates the efforts of national volunteer leaders. The pathway was unveiled in October 2005. In August 2011 a memorial to King was unveiled on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the first on the Mall to honor either a nonpresident or an African American.

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Martin Luther King Wikipdia

Un article de Wikipdia, l’encyclopdie libre. Martin Luther King Jr., n Atlanta (Gorgie) le 15 janvier 1929 et mort assassin le 4 avril 1968 Memphis (Tennessee), est un pasteur baptiste afro-amricain, militant non-violent pour les droits civiques des Noirs aux tats-Unis, pour la paix et contre la pauvret. Il organise et dirige des actions telles que le boycott des bus de Montgomery pour dfendre le droit de vote, la dsgrgation et l’emploi des minorits ethniques. Il prononce un discours clbre le 28 aot 1963 devant le Lincoln Memorial Washington durant la marche pour l’emploi et la libert: I have a dream. Il est soutenu par John F. Kennedy dans la lutte contre la sgrgation raciale aux tats-Unis; la plupart de ces droits seront promus par le Civil Rights Act et le Voting Rights Act sous la prsidence de Lyndon B. Johnson. Martin Luther King devient le plus jeune laurat du prix Nobel de la paix en 1964 pour sa lutte non-violente contre la sgrgation raciale et pour la paix. Il commence alors une campagne contre la guerre du Vit Nam et la pauvret, qui prend fin en 1968 avec son assassinat officiellement attribu James Earl Ray, dont la culpabilit et la participation un complot sont toujours dbattues. Il se voit dcerner titre posthume la mdaille prsidentielle de la Libert par Jimmy Carter en 1977, le prix des droits de l’homme des Nations unies en 1978, la mdaille d’or du Congrs en 2004, et est considr comme l’un des plus grands orateurs amricains[1]. Depuis 1986, le Martin Luther King Day est jour fri aux tats-Unis. Martin Luther King est le fils du pasteur baptiste Martin Luther King Sr. et d’Alberta Williams King, organiste d’glise. Il a une sur ane, Christine King Farris, et un plus jeune frre, Albert Daniel Williams King. Il nait au 501 Aubrun Avenue Atlanta, dans une maison qui a t conserve et transforme en Muse National, quelques pas de l’Eglise baptiste Ebenezer, o prche son pre. Il grandit au sein de l’Amrique sgrgationniste[2], dans un milieu privilgi pour l’poque. Sa premire exprience de la sgrgation raciale date de ses six ans, quand deux camarades de jeux blancs lui disent qu’ils ne sont plus autoriss jouer avec lui. Sa mre lui explique que c’est parce qu’ils sont maintenant dans des coles sgrgationnistes blanches, mais souligne qu’il est aussi bon que n’importe qui[3]. En 1939, il chante avec le chur de son glise Atlanta pour la premire du film Autant en emporte le vent. Il entre l’ge de 15 ans Morehouse College, une universit rserve aux garons noirs, aprs avoir saut deux annes de lyce et sans avoir officiellement obtenu son certificat de fin d’tudes. Il en sort avec le diplme de Bachelor of Arts en sociologie le 20 juin 1948 et rentre au Crozer Theological Seminary pour un Bachelor of Divinity Chester (Pennsylvanie) qui correspond une licence en thologie qu’il obtient le 12 mai 1951. Il obtient son doctorat en thologie, l’Universit de Boston, le 18 juin 1955[4]. Des accusations de plagiat contre sa thse de doctorat l’universit de Boston aboutissent en 1991 une enqute officielle des responsables de cette universit. Ceux-ci concluent qu’un tiers environ de la thse est plagi d’un article crit par un tudiant diplm antrieurement, mais il est dcid de ne pas retirer son titre Martin Luther, car la thse constitue tout de mme une contribution intelligente au savoir[5]. On trouve galement des emprunts tacites dans certains discours de King, mais Keith Miller soutient[6] que dans ce dernier cas, c’est une pratique courante des Afro-Amricains et que l’on ne peut considrer cela comme du plagiat. Toutefois, comme Theodore Pappas le note dans son livre sur le sujet[7], Martin Luther King avait en fait suivi un cours sur les normes de la production intellectuelle et le plagiat l’universit de Boston. Il pouse, le 18 juin 1953, Coretta Scott, qui prendra son nom pour devenir Coretta Scott King. Ils ont eu quatre enfants: Yolanda, ne en 1955, Martin Luther King III, n en 1957, Dexter Scott, n en 1961, et Bernice, ne en 1963. En 1953, Martin Luther King devient le pasteur de l’glise baptiste de l’avenue Dexter Montgomery (Alabama). Le sud des tats-Unis est cette poque marqu par les violences commises contre les Noirs, culminant en 1955 avec le meurtre raciste de Emmett Till, un adolescent de 14 ans, du pasteur engag George W. Lee et du militant des droits civiques Lamar Smith. Le 1er dcembre 1955, lorsque Rosa Parks, une femme noire, est arrte pour avoir viol les lois sgrgationnistes de la ville en refusant de cder sa place un Blanc, il mne le boycott des bus de Montgomery avec l’aide du pasteur Ralph Abernathy et d’Edgar Nixon, directeur local du National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. La population noire soutient le boycott et organise un systme de covoiturage. Martin Luther King est arrt durant cette campagne qui dure 382 jours et devient extrmement tendue cause de sgrgationnistes blancs qui ont recours au terrorisme: la maison de Martin Luther King est attaque la bombe incendiaire le matin du 30 janvier 1956, ainsi que celle de Ralph Abernathy et quatre glises, et King est victime de violences physiques[8]. Les boycotters sont souvent attaqus physiquement mais l’ensemble des 40000 Noirs de la ville continuent de marcher, parfois jusqu’ 30km, pour rejoindre leur lieu de travail. Le boycott se termine par une dcision de la Cour suprme des tats-Unis le 21 dcembre 1956 dclarant illgale la sgrgation dans les autobus, restaurants, coles et autres lieux publics[8]. En 1957, il joue un rle capital dans la fondation de la Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC, Confrence des dirigeants chrtiens du Sud), dont il est lu prsident et le reste jusqu’ sa mort. La SCLC est une organisation pacifique qui participe activement au Mouvement pour les droits civiques en organisant les glises afro-amricaines pour conduire des protestations non-violentes[9]. King adhre la philosophie de dsobissance civile non-violente comme dcrite par Henry David Thoreau[10] et utilise avec succs en Inde par Gandhi[11]. Conseill par le militant des droits civiques Bayard Rustin, il dcide de l’utiliser lors des manifestations de la SCLC. Il expose en 1958 son point de vue sur la sgrgation raciale et la spirale d’ingalit et de haine qu’elle provoque dans le livre Stride toward freedom; the Montgomery story (la marche vers la libert): Souvent, les hommes se hassent les uns les autres parce qu’ils ont peur les uns des autres; ils ont peur parce qu’ils ne se connaissent pas; ils ne se connaissent pas parce qu’ils ne peuvent pas communiquer; ils ne peuvent pas communiquer parce qu’ils sont spars. Alors qu’il signe des exemplaires de son livre dans un magasin Harlem le 20 septembre, il est poignard la poitrine par Izola Curry, une femme noire qui l’accuse d’tre un chef communiste et qui sera juge comme dsquilibre. Martin Luther King chappe de peu la mort, la lame du coupe-papier utilis ayant frl l’aorte. Martin Luther pardonne son agresseur et, dans une dclaration la presse[12], souligne la violence de la socit amricaine: L’aspect pathtique de cette exprience n’est pas la blessure d’un individu. Il dmontre qu’un climat de haine et d’amertume imprgne tellement notre nation que des accs d’extrme violence doivent surgir invitablement. Aujourd’hui c’est moi. Demain cela pourrait tre un autre dirigeant ou n’importe quel homme, femme ou enfant qui sera victime de l’anarchie et de la brutalit. J’espre que cette exprience se rvlera socialement constructive en dmontrant le besoin urgent de la non-violence pour gouverner les affaires des hommes. En 1959, il crit le livre The Measure of A Man (La Mesure d’un homme), une tentative pour dpeindre une structure optimale de socit politique, sociale et conomique, duquel la pice What is Man? (Qu’est-ce qu’un homme?) est tire. Le FBI commence mettre Martin Luther King sur coute en 1961, craignant que des communistes essayent d’infiltrer le mouvement des droits civiques. Aucune preuve n’tant trouve, l’agence utilise certains dtails enregistrs sur une dure de six ans pour essayer de le faire renvoyer de son rle de dirigeant de l’organisation. Martin Luther King prvoit justement que des protestations organises et non-violentes contre le systme de sgrgation du sud connu comme les lois Jim Crow amneront une grande couverture mdiatique du conflit pour l’galit et le droit de vote des personnes de peau noire. Les comptes-rendus des journalistes et les reportages de la tlvision montrant les privations et humiliations quotidiennes des Afro-Amricains du sud des tats-Unis, ainsi que la violence et le harclement dploys par les sgrgationnistes contre les militants des droits civiques, produisent alors une vague de sympathie au sein de l’opinion publique pour le mouvement des droits civiques qui devient le sujet politique le plus important de l’Amrique des annes 1960. Martin Luther King organise et mne des marches pour le droit de vote des Afro-Amricains, la dsgrgation, le droit du travail et d’autres droits fondamentaux. La plupart de ces droits ont t vots comme lois avec le Civil Rights Act de 1964 et le Voting Rights Act de 1965. Martin Luther et le SCLC appliquent avec succs les principes de manifestation non-violente en choisissant stratgiquement les lieux et la mthode de protestation qui aboutissent des confrontations spectaculaires avec les autorits sgrgationnistes. Albany (Gorgie) en 1961 et 1962, il rejoint les militants locaux du Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), et du National Association for the Advancement of Colored People men par William G. Anderson, un mdecin noir. Martin Luther King intervient parce que le SNCC ne parvient pas faire avancer le mouvement malgr des actions non-violentes efficaces (occupation de bibliothques, stations de bus, restaurants rservs aux Blancs, boycotts et manifestations) cause de l’habilet du shrif local Pritchett qui procde des arrestations massives sans violence et une dispersion des prisonniers dans tout le comt. Il intervient galement parce que cette organisation l’a critiqu pour avoir mollement soutenu les freedom rides (bus de la libert contre la sgrgation)[13]. Alors qu’il ne compte rester que quelques jours et n’avoir qu’un rle de conseiller, il est interpell lors d’une arrestation massive de manifestants pacifiques. Il refuse de payer la caution tant que la ville ne fait pas de concessions. Les accords passs sont dshonors et viols par la ville ds son dpart[14]. Il revient en juillet 1962, et est condamn 45 jours de prison ou 178$ d’amende. Il choisit la prison mais est discrtement libr au bout de 3 jours par le shrif Pritchett qui s’arrange pour faire payer son amende. King commentera[14]: Nous avions t tmoins de personnes jetes hors de restaurants expulses d’glises et jetes en prison Mais pour la premire fois, nous tions tmoins de quelqu’un jet coups de pieds hors de prison. Aprs presque un an de militantisme sans rsultats tangibles, le mouvement commence faiblir et se diviser entre radicaux et modrs. Lors d’une manifestation, des jeunes Noirs jettent des pierres sur la police: Martin Luther King demande une suspension de toutes les protestations et un jour de pnitence pour promouvoir la non-violence et maintenir le moral. Plus tard, il est nouveau arrt et dtenu deux semaines. Si malgr la mobilisation le mouvement Albany ne russit pas obtenir des rsultats immdiats, il sert de leon stratgique King et au mouvement des droits civiques qui dcident de se concentrer sur des sujets spcifiques afin d’obtenir des victoires symboliques: L’erreur que je fis tait de protester contre la sgrgation en gnral plutt que contre une seule de ses facettes distinctes. [] Une victoire de ce type aurait t symbolique et aurait galvanis notre soutien et notre moral Quand on planifia notre stratgie pour Birmingham des mois aprs, nous avons pass de nombreuses heures valuer Albany et essayer d’apprendre de nos erreurs. Notre examen ne nous aida pas seulement rendre nos futures tactiques plus efficaces, mais rvla aussi qu’Albany tait loin d’tre un chec total. Nanmoins, le militantisme local continue alors que l’attention des mdia se tourne vers d’autres sujets. Le printemps suivant, la ville annulera toutes ses lois sgrgationnistes. En 1960, la population de Birmingham est de 350000 personnes, 65% blanches et 35% noires[15]. C’est alors une ville qui maintient et assure par la loi locale la plus grande sgrgation raciale des tats-Unis dans tous les aspects de la vie, aussi bien dans les tablissements publics que privs[16]. cette poque, seulement 10% de la population noire sont inscrits sur les listes lectorales[17] et le niveau de vie moyen est infrieur de moiti celui des Blancs, les salaires pour un mme poste tant communment trs infrieurs[18]. Birmingham n’a ni agent de police noir, ni pompier, ni vendeur en magasin, ni conducteur ou employ de banque, l’emploi pour la population noire est limit aux seuls travaux manuels aux aciries. Une secrtaire noire ne peut travailler pour un patron blanc. Le chmage des Noirs est deux fois et demi plus lev que celui des Blancs[19]. Cinquante attentats racistes non lucids entre 1945 et 1962 ont donn la ville le surnom de Bombingham[20]. Les glises noires o les droits civiques sont discuts sont des cibles privilgies[21] et la ville est particulirement violente contre les freedom riders. Un responsable des droits civiques local, le pasteur Shuttlesworth, essaye bien de lutter en gagnant en justice la dsgrgation des parcs de la ville, mais la ville ragit en les fermant. Le domicile et l’glise o le pasteur exerce sont alors la cible de plusieurs attentats la bombe[22]. Aprs l’arrestation de Shuttlesworth en 1962 pour avoir viol les lois sgrgationnistes et aprs qu’une ptition au maire a t jete la poubelle selon le maire lui-mme[23], le pasteur demande l’aide de Martin Luther King et du SCLC, en soulignant le rle crucial de Birmingham dans la lutte nationale pour l’galit raciale[24]. Les protestations commencent par un boycott Pques 1963, pour inciter les chefs d’entreprise ouvrir les emplois de vendeurs et d’autres postes aux personnes de toute races, et arrter la sgrgation dans les magasins, par exemple sous la forme de caisses rserves aux Blancs. Quand les dirigeants conomiques rsistent au boycott, King et le SCLC commencent ce qu’ils appellent le projet C, une srie de manifestations non-violentes telles que des sit-ins dans les restaurants et bibliothques, agenouillement de personnes noires dans les glises rserves aux Blancs, marches de protestation pacifiques, le tout ralis pour provoquer des arrestations. Martin Luther King rsume la philosophie de la campagne de Birmingham[25]: Le propos de [] l’action directe est de crer une situation qui dclenche un tel nombre de crises qu’elle ouvre invitablement la porte des ngociations. Il est lui-mme arrt le 13 avril, et c’est l qu’il crit la clbre Lettre de la prison de Birmingham (Letter from Birmingham Jail), un trait dfinissant sa lutte contre la sgrgation. Il reoit un soutien direct du prsident John Fitzgerald Kennedy, sa femme Coretta celui de Jacqueline Kennedy; il est libr une semaine plus tard. Alors que la campagne n’a plus assez de volontaires, les organisateurs, malgr les hsitations de Martin Luther King[26], recrutent des tudiants et des enfants dans ce qui est appel par les mdias la croisade des enfants. Le 2 mai, des centaines d’tudiants, lycens et coliers sont prpars et entrans participer pacifiquement aux manifestations. Ils sont arrts de manire violente par la police qui utilise des chiens, mais aussi des jets d’eau haute pression d’une telle force qu’ils pouvaient dchirer les vtements ou projeter une jeune femme par dessus une voiture[27]. En raction et malgr les instructions du SCLC, des parents et des passants commencent jeter des projectiles sur la police mais sont raisonns par les organisateurs. La dcision d’utiliser des enfants mme dans une manifestation non-violente est trs critique, entre autres par le ministre de la justice Robert Francis Kennedy et le militant Malcolm X qui dclare que les vrais hommes ne mettent pas leurs enfants dans la ligne de mire[28]. Martin Luther King, qui est rest silencieux et en dehors de la ville quand un de ses amis organisait les manifestations des enfants, comprend le succs de l’vnement et dclare au culte du soir[29]: J’ai t inspir et touch par ce jour et je n’avais jamais rien vu de la sorte. Les scnes de violences policires largement relayes par les mdia causent des ractions internationales et mettent en lumire la sgrgation raciale ayant lieu dans le sud des tats-Unis. Le snateur de l’Oregon Wayne Morse compare Birmingham l’apartheid en Afrique du Sud[30]. Les prisons sont pleines, certains enfants se prsentant directement devant elles en chantant pour tre arrts. La ville est au bord de l’effondrement civil et conomique, car aucun commerce du centre-ville ne fonctionne plus. Le gouverneur George Wallace envoie la police de l’tat pour soutenir le chef de la police locale. Robert Kennedy envoie la Garde nationale pour viter tout dbordement le 13 mai, la suite de deux attentats la bombe contre un htel o avait rsid Martin Luther King et contre la maison du frre de celui-ci, attentats qui avaient dgnr en manifestations contre les policiers. Le 21 mai le maire dmissionne, le chef de la police est renvoy et en juin toutes les pancartes sgrgationnistes sont enleves et les lieux publics ouverts aux Noirs[31]. la fin de la campagne, la rputation de King s’est considrablement renforce[32] et Birmingham est un lment du succs de la marche vers Washington. Le dimanche 15 septembre, un attentat la bombe du Ku Klux Klan contre l’glise baptiste de la 16e rue, pendant la prire, provoque la mort de quatre jeunes filles noires et blesse 22 enfants. L’attaque provoque l’indignation nationale et renforce le mouvement des droits civiques. Reprsentant le SCLC, Martin Luther King est le dirigeant d’une des six grandes organisations pour les droits civiques qui organisent la marche vers Washington pour le travail et la libert. Il est l’un de ceux qui acceptent le souhait du prsident John F. Kennedy de changer le message de la marche. Le prsident, qui avait dj soutenu publiquement Martin Luther King et tait dj intervenu plusieurs fois pour le faire sortir de prison[33], s’tait initialement oppos au principe de la marche car il craignait un impact ngatif sur le vote de la loi sur les droits civiques. Le but initial de la marche tait de montrer la situation dsespre des Afro-Amricains des tats du Sud et l’chec du gouvernement fdral assurer leurs droits et leur scurit. Le groupe des six accepte sous la pression et l’influence prsidentielle de passer un message moins radical. Certains militants des droits civiques pensent alors que la marche ne prsente plus qu’une vision inexacte et dulcore de la situation des Noirs; Malcolm X l’appelle alors La farce sur Washington, et les membres de l’organisation Nation of Islam qui participent la marche seront suspendus temporairement[34]. La marche fait cependant des demandes spcifiques: En dpit des tensions, la marche est un norme succs. Plus de 250000 personnes[35] de toutes les ethnies se runissent le 28 aot 1963 face au Lincoln Memorial, dans ce qui est la plus grande manifestation ayant eu lieu jusque l dans l’histoire de la capitale amricaine. Le point d’orgue du combat de Martin Luther King est son illustre discours I have a dream, o il manifeste sa volont et son espoir de connatre une Amrique fraternelle. Cette dclaration est considre comme un des meilleurs discours de l’histoire amricaine avec le Discours de Gettysburg du seizime Prsident des tats-Unis Abraham Lincoln. Malgr l’arrt de 1954 de la Cour suprme Brown v. Board of Education, qui dclare la sgrgation raciale inconstitutionnelle dans les coles publiques, seuls 6 enfants noirs sont admis dans les coles blanches St. Augustine en Floride. Les maisons de deux familles de ces enfants sont brles par des sgrgationnistes blancs et d’autres familles sont forces de quitter la rgion parce que les parents sont renvoys de leur emploi et n’arrivent plus en retrouver d’autre localement. En mai et juin 1964, une action directe est mene par Martin Luther King et d’autres dirigeants des droits civiques. Une marche de nuit autour de l’ancien march aux esclaves voit les manifestants attaqus par des sgrgationnistes blancs et entrane des centaines d’arrestations. Les prisons tant trop petites, les dtenus sont parqus en plein soleil les jours suivants. Des manifestants sont jets la mer par la police et par les sgrgationnistes et manquent de se noyer lors d’une tentative pour rejoindre les plages Anastasia Island rserves aux Blancs. La tension atteint son comble quand un groupe de manifestants noirs et blancs se jettent dans la piscine du motel Monson, interdite aux Noirs. La photographie d’un policier plongeant pour arrter un manifestant et celle du propritaire du motel versant de l’acide chlorhydrique dans la piscine pour faire sortir les militants firent le tour du monde et servirent mme aux tats communistes pour discrditer le discours de libert des tats-Unis. Les manifestants endurent les violences physiques et verbales sans riposter, ce qui entrane un mouvement de sympathie nationale et aide au vote du Civil Rights Act le 2 juillet 1964. Le 14 octobre 1964, Martin Luther King devient le plus jeune laurat du Prix Nobel de la paix pour avoir men une rsistance non-violente dans le but d’liminer les prjudices raciaux aux tats-Unis. En dcembre 1964, Martin Luther et le SCLC joignent nouveau leurs forces celles du Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Selma, Alabama, o le SNCC travaille l’enregistrement des lecteurs sur les listes lectorales depuis des mois[36]. Selma est alors un lieu important pour la dfense du droit de vote des Afro-Amricains. La moiti des habitants de la ville sont noirs mais seulement 1% d’entre eux est inscrit sur les listes lectorales; le bureau d’enregistrement, qui n’est accessible que deux jours par mois, ouvre en retard et subit des pauses djeuner rallonge[37]. Le dimanche 7 mars 1965, 600 dfenseurs des droits civiques quittent Selma pour tenter de rejoindre Montgomery, la capitale de l’tat, pour prsenter leurs dolances au moyen d’une marche pacifique. Ils sont arrts au bout de quelques kilomtres au pont Edmund Pettus par la police et une foule hostile qui les repoussent violemment coup de matraques et de gaz lacrymogne. Ce jour sera connu sous le nom de Bloody Sunday[38] et marqua un tournant dans la lutte pour les droits civiques. Les reportages montrant les violences policires permettent au mouvement de gagner le soutien de l’opinion publique et soulignent le succs de la stratgie non-violente de Martin Luther King, qui n’est pas prsent lors de cette premire marche, tentant de la retarder aprs sa rencontre avec le prsident Lyndon B. Johnson. Deux jours aprs, Martin Luther mne une marche symbolique jusqu’au pont, une action qu’il semblait avoir ngocie avec les autorits locales et qui provoqua l’incomprhension des militants de Selma. Le mouvement cherche alors la protection de la justice afin d’accomplir la marche et le juge de la Cour fdrale Frank Minis Johnson, Jr., tranche en faveur des manifestants: La loi est claire sur le fait que le droit de ptitionner ses griefs auprs du gouvernement peut tre exerc en groupe de grande amplitude [] et ces droits peuvent tre exercs par une marche, mme le long d’une route publique. 3200 marcheurs partent finalement de Selma le dimanche 21 mars 1965, parcourant 20km par jour et dormant dans les champs. C’est pendant ce trajet que Willie Ricks labora le terme Black Power. Au moment o ils atteignent le capitole de Montgomery, le jeudi 25 mars, les marcheurs sont 25000. Martin Luther King prononce alors le discours How Long, Not Long (Combien de Temps, Peu de Temps). Le jour mme, la militante blanche des droits civiques Viola Liuzzo est assassine par le Ku Klux Klan, alors qu’elle ramne des marcheurs dans sa voiture. Martin Luther assiste ses funrailles et le prsident Johnson intervient directement la tlvision pour annoncer l’arrestation des coupables. Moins de cinq mois plus tard, le prsident Johnson signe le Voting Rights Act accordant le droit de vote sans restriction. En 1966, aprs les succs du sud, Martin Luther King et d’autres organisations de dfense des droits civiques essayent d’tendre le mouvement vers le nord, Chicago devenant l’objectif principal. Martin Luther et Ralph Abernathy, tous les deux de classe moyenne, dmnagent vers les bidonvilles de Chicago dans le cadre d’une exprience ducative et pour montrer leur soutien et empathie avec les pauvres. La SCLC forme une alliance avec la CCCO (Coordinating Council of Community Organizations), une organisation fonde par Albert Raby, Jr., et avec le CFM (Chicago Freedom Movement). Au printemps, des tests sont raliss par des couples, noirs ou blancs, afin de dvoiler les pratiques discriminatoires des socits immobilires. Les tests rvlent que la slection des couples qui postulent pour un logement n’est aucunement base sur le revenu, le parcours, le nombre d’enfants ou d’autres caractristiques socio-conomiques (car les couples ont exactement les mmes), mais bien sur la couleur de peau. Plusieurs grandes marches pacifiques sont organises dans Chicago et, Abernathy l’crira plus tard, l’accueil qui leur est rserv est pire que dans le sud. Ils sont reus par une foule haineuse et des lancers de bouteilles, et Martin Luther et lui commencent vraiment craindre qu’une meute se dclenche. Les croyances de Martin Luther King se heurtent sa responsabilit d’emmener les siens vers un vnement violent. Si Martin Luther a la conviction qu’une marche pacifique sera disperse dans la violence, il prfre l’annuler pour la scurit de tous, comme ce fut le cas lors du bloody sunday. Il conduit nanmoins ces marches malgr des menaces de mort sur sa personne. La violence Chicago est si intense qu’elle bouleverse les deux amis. Un autre problme est la duplicit des dirigeants de la ville quand King est confront la machine politique du maire Richard Daley, considr le dernier boss d’une grande ville amricaine. la suite des demandes de King d’intgration raciale de certains quartiers comme Chicago Lawn, Daley organise une confrence au sommet et signe un accord avec King et Abernathy pour arrter la discrimination sur le logement. Mais l’accord qui n’a aucune tendue lgale est ensuite largement ignor par la mairie[39]. Abernathy ne peut plus supporter les conditions de vie dans les taudis et dmnage secrtement aprs un court moment. Martin Luther King reste et crit sur l’impact motionnel que cela reprsente pour Coretta et ses enfants de vivre dans des conditions aussi dures. Quand Martin Luther et ses allis retournent chez eux, ils laissent Jesse Jackson, un jeune sminariste qui avait dj particip aux actions dans le sud, qui organise les premiers boycotts russis pour le droit l’accs aux mmes emplois, ce qui sera un succs tel qu’il dbouchera sur le programme d’opportunits gales dans les annes 1970. partir de 1965, Martin Luther King commence exprimer ses doutes sur le rle des tats-Unis dans la guerre du Vit Nam. Le 4 avril 1967, un an avant sa mort, il fait New-York le discours Au-del du Vit Nam: le moment de briser le silence. Il y dnonce l’attitude des tats-Unis au Vit Nam et insiste sur le fait qu’ils occupent le pays comme une colonie amricaine et appelle le gouvernement amricain le plus grand fournisseur de violence dans le monde aujourd’hui. Il insiste aussi sur le fait que le pays a besoin d’un plus grand changement moral[40]: Une vraie rvolution des valeurs regarderait bientt d’une manire honteuse les contrastes frappants entre la pauvret et la richesse. Avec une indignation justifie, elle regarderait au-del des mers et verrait les capitalistes individualistes de l’Ouest investissant d’normes sommes d’argent en Asie, en Afrique et en Amrique du Sud, juste pour faire des profits et sans aucune proccupation pour les amliorations sociales dans ces pays, elle dirait: Ce n’est pas juste. Il considre que le Vit Nam rend difficile d’atteindre les objectifs noncs par Johnson lors de son discours sur l’tat de l’Union de 1964, annonant une guerre contre la pauvret. Martin Luther King tait dj ha par de nombreux Blancs racistes des tats du sud, mais ce discours retourne de nombreux mdias importants contre lui. Time appelle le discours une calomnie dmagogique qui ressemblait un script de Radio Hanoi, et le The Washington Post dclare que King a diminu son utilit sa cause, son pays, son peuple. Martin Luther dclare souvent que le Vit Nam du nord n’avait pas commenc envoyer un grand nombre de provisions ou d’hommes tant que les forces amricaines n’taient pas arrives par dizaines de milliers. Il acclame galement la rforme agraire entreprise par le nord[41]. Il accuse aussi les tats-Unis d’avoir tu un million de vietnamiens, surtout des enfants[42]. Il propose dans une lettre le moine bouddhiste et pacifiste vietnamien Thich Nhat Hanh, qui lutte pour l’arrt du conflit, au prix Nobel de la paix de l’anne 1967. Martin Luther King dit aussi dans son discours[43] que la vraie compassion, c’est plus que jeter une pice un mendiant; elle permet de voir qu’un difice qui produit des mendiants a besoin d’une restructuration. [] du Vit Nam l’Afrique du Sud en passant par l’Amrique latine, les tats-Unis sont du mauvais ct de la rvolution mondiale. Martin Luther questionne notre alliance avec les propritaires terriens de l’Amrique latine et demande pourquoi les tats-Unis rpriment au lieu de soutenir les rvolutions des peuples pieds-nus et sans chemise du tiers monde. Le discours est un reflet de l’volution politique de Martin Luther King dans ses dernires annes, due en partie son affiliation avec le Highlander Research and Education Center progressiste. Martin Luther commence parler d’un besoin de changements fondamentaux dans la vie politique et conomique de la nation. Il exprime plus frquemment son opposition la guerre et le besoin de redistribuer les ressources pour corriger les injustices raciales et sociales. Bien que ses allocutions publiques soient rserves afin d’viter d’tre tiquetes communistes par ses ennemis politiques, en priv, il dclare souvent soutenir le socialisme dmocratique[44]: Vous ne pouvez pas parler d’une rsolution du problme conomique des ngres sans parler de milliards de dollars. Vous ne pouvez pas parler de la fin des bidonvilles sans dire d’abord que les profits ne doivent plus tre faits sur les bidonvilles. Vous falsifiez vraiment parce que vous avez affaire des gens maintenant. Vous avez affaire des capitaines d’industrie [] Maintenant a signifie que vous vous dplacez dans une mer agite, parce que a signifie qu’il y a quelque chose qui ne va pas avec Le capitalisme Il doit y avoir une meilleure distribution des richesses et peut-tre que l’Amrique doit se diriger vers un socialisme dmocratique. Martin Luther King a lu Marx alors qu’il tait Morehouse, mais tandis qu’il rejette le capitalisme traditionnel, il rejette galement le communisme cause de son interprtation matrialiste de l’histoire qui nie la religion, son relativisme ethnique et son totalitarisme politique[45]. partir de novembre 1967, King et l’quipe du Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) se runirent pour discuter de la nouvelle lgislation, des meutes raciales (hot summers) et de l’apparition du Black Power [46]. Ils dcidrent alors d’organiser la Poor People’s Campaign (la Campagne des pauvres) afin de lutter pour la justice sociale. Qualifie par le pasteur de seconde phase dans le mouvement des droits civiques [46], celle-ci visait lutter contre la pauvret, d’o qu’elle vienne, et ne se restreignait donc pas la dfense des Afro-Amricains. King affirmait alors: Ce ne doit pas tre seulement les gens noirs, mais tous les pauvres. Nous devons inclure les Amrindiens, les Porto ricains, les Mexicains, et mme les Blancs pauvres. [46] Cependant, la campagne n’est pas soutenue par tous les dirigeants du mouvement des droits civiques, y compris Bayard Rustin. Leur opposition inclut des arguments sur le fait que les buts de la campagne sont trop larges, les demandes irralisables et que cela acclrera le mouvement de rpression contre les pauvres et les Noirs[47]. Martin Luther King traverse le pays de long en large pour rassembler une arme multiraciale des pauvres qui marcherait sur Washington et engagerait une dsobissance civile pacifique au capitole, si besoin est jusqu’ ce que le congrs signe une dclaration des droits de l’homme du pauvre. Le Reader’s Digest parlera d’une insurrection. Cette dclaration des pauvres demande un programme d’emplois gouvernementaux pour reconstruire les villes amricaines. Martin Luther King voit un besoin urgent de se confronter au congrs qui avait dmontr son hostilit aux pauvres en distribuant les fonds militaires avec gnrosit mais donnant des fonds aux pauvres avec avarice. Sa vision est celle d’un changement qui est plus rvolutionnaire qu’une simple rforme: il cite les dfauts systmatiques du racisme, de la pauvret, du militarisme et du matrialisme, et que la reconstruction de la socit elle-mme tait le vrai problme qu’il fallait rsoudre[48]. Mais l’assassinat de Luther King en avril 1968 affecta lourdement la campagne. Celle-ci fut tout de mme lance en mai, culminant avec une marche sur Washington, sans russir atteindre ses objectifs[46]. Fin mars 1968, Martin Luther King se dplace Memphis (Tennessee) pour soutenir les boueurs noirs locaux qui sont en grve depuis le 12 mars afin d’obtenir un meilleur salaire et un meilleur traitement. Les Afro-Amricains taient pays 1,70dollar de l’heure et n’taient pas pays quand ils ne pouvaient pas travailler pour raison climatique, contrairement aux travailleurs blancs[49],[50]. Des violences clatent autour des marches pacifiques, un jeune Afro-Amricain est tu[51]. Le 3 avril, au Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ, Inc. – sige mondial), Martin Luther fait le discours prophtique I’ve Been to the Mountaintop (J’ai t au sommet de la montagne) devant une foule euphorique: Ce n’est pas vraiment important ce qui arrive maintenant Certains ont commenc [] parler des menaces qui se profilaient. Qu’est-ce qui pourrait m’arriver de la part d’un de nos frres blancs malades Comme tout le monde, j’aimerais vivre une longue vie. La longvit est importante mais je ne suis pas concern par a maintenant. Je veux juste accomplir la volont de Dieu. Et il m’a autoris grimper sur la montagne! Et j’ai regard autour de moi, et j’ai vu la terre promise. Je n’irai peut-tre pas l-bas avec vous. Mais je veux que vous sachiez ce soir, que nous, comme peuple, atteindrons la terre promise. Et je suis si heureux ce soir. Je n’ai aucune crainte. Je n’ai peur d’aucun homme. Mes yeux ont vu la gloire de la venue du Seigneur! Le 4 avril 1968 18 h 01, Martin Luther King est assassin alors qu’il se trouve sur le balcon du Lorraine Motel Memphis dans le Tennessee. Ses dernires paroles sont dites au musicien Ben Branch qui devait se produire ce soir-l lors d’une runion publique laquelle assistait Martin Luther[52]: Ben, prvois de jouer Precious Lord, Take My Hand [Seigneur, prends ma main] la runion de ce soir. Joue-le de la plus belle manire. Ses amis l’intrieur de la chambre du motel entendent des coups de feu et courent sur le balcon pour trouver Martin Luther King abattu d’une balle dans la gorge. Il est dclar mort au St. Joseph’s Hospital 19 h 05. L’assassinat provoque une vague d’meutes raciales dans 60 villes des tats-Unis (125 au total[53]) qui fait de nombreux morts et ncessite l’intervention de la garde nationale[54]. Cinq jours plus tard, le prsident Johnson dclare un jour de deuil national, le premier pour un Afro-Amricain, en l’honneur de Martin Luther King. 300000 personnes assistent ses funrailles[55] le mme jour, ainsi que le vice-prsident Hubert Humphrey. Johnson tait une runion sur le Vit Nam Camp David et il y avait des craintes que la prsence du prsident provoque des manifestations des pacifistes. Des meutes de colre clatent dans plus de 100 villes faisant 46 victimes[2]. la demande de sa veuve, Martin Luther fit sa propre oraison funbre avec son dernier sermon Drum Major enregistr l’Ebenezer Baptist Church. Dans ce sermon, il demande qu’ ses funrailles aucune mention de ses honneurs ne soit faite, mais qu’il soit dit qu’il avait essay de nourrir les affams, habiller les nus, tre droit sur la question du Vit Nam et aimer et servir l’humanit. sa demande, son amie Mahalia Jackson chante son hymne favori, Take My Hand, Precious Lord. La ville de Memphis ngocie la fin de la grve d’une manire favorable aux boueurs aprs l’assassinat[56],[57]. D’aprs le biographe Taylor Branch, l’autopsie de King rvla que bien qu’il ait seulement 39 ans, son cur paraissait celui d’un homme g de 60 ans, montrant physiquement l’effet du stress de 13 ans dans le mouvement des droits civiques[58]. Entre 1957 et 1968, King avait voyag sur plus de 9,6 millions de kilomtres[pertinence conteste], parl en public plus de 2500 fois, t arrt par la police plus de vingt fois et agress physiquement au moins quatre fois[59]. Deux mois aprs la mort de Martin Luther King, James Earl Ray, un sgrgationniste blanc qui a des antcdents judiciaires de droit commun et est d’ailleurs vad de prison, est captur l’aroport de Londres Heathrow alors qu’il essaie de quitter le Royaume-Uni avec un faux passeport canadien au nom de Ramon George Sneyd. Ray est trs vite extrad au Tennessee et accus du meurtre de Martin Luther King, ayant avou l’assassinat le 10 mars 1969, avant de se rtracter trois jours aprs. Sur le conseil de son avocat Percy Foreman, Ray choisit de plaider coupable afin d’viter la peine de mort. Il est condamn 99 ans de prison. Ray renvoie son avocat, clamant que les coupables du meurtre sont un certain Raoul et son frre Johnny qu’il a rencontr Montral au Canada. Il raconte de plus qu’il n’avait pas tir personnellement sur King mais qu’il pouvait tre partiellement responsable sans le savoir, indiquant une piste de conspiration. Il passe alors le reste de sa vie tenter vainement de faire rouvrir son procs sur la base de sa non-culpabilit. Le 10 juin 1977, peu aprs avoir tmoign devant une commission du congrs sur les assassinats qu’il n’avait pas tu Martin Luther, il s’vade avec six autres condamns du pnitencier de Brushy Mountain au Tennessee. Il est repris le 13 juin et retourne en prison[60]. En 1997, Dexter Scott King, le fils de Martin Luther King, rencontre Ray et soutient publiquement les efforts de Ray pour obtenir un nouveau jugement[61]. En 1999, un an aprs la mort de Ray, Coretta Scott King, veuve de Martin Luther et dirigeante des droits civiques elle aussi, et le reste de la famille King gagnent un procs civil contre Loyd Jowers (propritaire d’un restaurant non loin du Motel) et d’autres conspirateurs. En dcembre 1993, Jowers tait apparu dans le Prime Time Live de ABC News et avait rvl des dtails d’une conspiration impliquant la mafia et le gouvernement pour tuer Martin Luther. Jowers raconte lors du procs avoir reu 100000 dollars pour organiser l’assassinat de Martin Luther King. Le jury de six Noirs et six Blancs juge Jowers coupable et mentionne que des agences fdrales taient associes au complot de l’assassinat[62]. William F. Pepper, ancien avocat de Ray, reprsente la famille de King lors du procs et produit 70 tmoins[63],[64],[65]. l’issue de celui-ci, la famille de Martin Luther King ne croit pas que Ray ait quelque chose voir avec l’assassinat[66]. En 2000, le Dpartement de la Justice des tats-Unis termine une enqute sur les rvlations de Jowers, mais ne trouve aucune preuve qui pourrait dmontrer une conspiration. Le rapport d’enqute recommande qu’il n’y ait aucune nouvelle recherche tant que de nouveaux faits fiables ne seraient pas prsents[67]. Certains spculent que Ray n’tait qu’un pion, de la mme faon que l’assassin de John F. Kennedy par Lee Harvey Oswald (voir Assassinat de John F. Kennedy). Les preuves avances par ses partisans sont: Le 6 avril 2002, le New York Times rapporta qu’un pasteur, le rvrend Ronald Denton Wilson, dclarait que c’tait son pre Henry Clay Wilson qui avait assassin Martin Luther King, Jr., et non James Earl Ray. Il dit que ses motifs n’taient pas racistes mais politiques, pensant que King tait communiste[74]. En 2004, Jesse Jackson, qui tait avec King au moment de son assassinat, nota[75]: Le fait est qu’il y avait des saboteurs pour perturber la marche. l’intrieur de notre propre organisation, on a dcouvert qu’une personne trs importante tait paye par le gouvernement. Donc infiltration l’intrieur, saboteurs l’extrieur et attaques de la presse. [] Je ne croirai jamais que James Earl Ray avait le motif, l’argent et la mobilit pour avoir fait cela lui-mme. Notre gouvernement a t trs impliqu prparer le terrain et je pense l’itinraire de fuite de James Earl Ray. Un ami et collgue de King, James Bevel, rsume plus abruptement[52]: Il n’y a aucun moyen qu’un garon blanc 10 cents puisse laborer un plan pour tuer un homme noir 10 millions de dollars. Les biographes David Garrow et Gerald Posner s’opposent au contraire aux conclusions de William F. Pepper qui a amen le jugement de 1999 accusant le gouvernement d’implication dans le meurtre de Martin Luther King, Jr[76]. Dans la Lettre de la prison de Birmingham crite le 16 avril 1963 alors qu’il est arrt pour une manifestation non-violente, Martin Luther King rpond huit prtres blancs de l’Alabama qui ont crit quatre jours plus tt une lettre intitule Un appel l’unit. S’ils admettaient l’existence des injustices sociales, ils exprimaient la croyance que la bataille contre la sgrgation raciale devait avoir lieu dans les tribunaux et non dans la rue. Martin Luther rpond alors que sans des actions directes et puissantes comme celles qu’il entreprenait, les droits civiques ne seraient jamais obtenus. Il crit: attendre a presque toujours signifi jamais, et il affirme que la dsobissance civile est non seulement justifie face une loi injuste, mais aussi que chacun a la responsabilit morale de dsobir aux lois injustes.

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July 1, 2016   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School 2016 Ratings …

Schools serving similar student populations most often got a: 2 ? SCORES ARE FROM 1 TO 10 1 ? English Proficiency (state avg 44%) Math Proficiency (state avg 33%) Do you work at this school? Claim your school profile page to update and add information. Claim this school How would you rate your experience at this school? Submitted by a parent October 19, 2010 Submitted by a parent October 03, 2006 Is there someone at this school who you want to say “thanks” to? Any price 0 – $100,000 100,000 – 200,000 200,000 – 300,000 300,000 – 500,000 500,000 – 1,000,000 1,000,000+ 0 beds 1 bed 2 beds 3 beds 4 beds Creative Learning Center Los Angeles, CA | Private | K-6 Little Citizens Westside Academy Los Angeles, CA | Private | 3-12 St. Cecilia Elementary School Los Angeles, CA | Private | K-8 Foshay Learning Center Los Angeles, CA | Public district | K-12 New Heights Charter School Los Angeles, CA | Public charter | K-8 Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School Follow CLOSEST HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOL (1.4 MILES) BEST NEARBY Vermont Avenue Elementary School BEST NEARBY Celerity Nascent Charter School BEST NEARBY Thirty-Second Street Usc Performing Arts BEST NEARBY New Heights Charter School Last modified: December 8, 2015 Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families. GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612 1998-2016 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices Last modified December 8, 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 1 out of 10 based on academic quality.

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June 30, 2016   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

Family feud over Martin Luther King’s Bible, Nobel Prize …

ATLANTA An ownership dispute over the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize and traveling Bible is one step closer to trial. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney declined to rule Thursday in the dispute over the two items that has effectively pitted King’s two sons against his daughter. That means the case will likely go to trial unless the parties reach a settlement. King’s estate, which is controlled by his two sons, in January 2014 asked a judge to order their sister to surrender the items. In a board of directors meeting that month Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King voted 2-1 against Bernice to sell the two artifacts to a private buyer. Bernice opposed any sale and argued the items don’t belong to the estate. The three surviving King children are the sole shareholders and directors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Estate Inc. In a vote in January 2014, Martin and Dexter voted 2-1 against Bernice to sell their father’s 1964 peace prize medal and traveling Bible to an unnamed private buyer. Both items were in Bernice’s possession and lawyers for the estate filed a lawsuit just over a week later asking a judge to order Bernice to surrender both items. The Bible and Nobel medal have been in a safe deposit box, with the keys held by the court, since March 2014. The case was set to go to trial in February 2015, but McBurney temporarily halted all action in the case after the parties asked for time to reach a settlement out of court. Lawyers for the two sides told McBurney in May 2015 that that they were close to an agreement but not quite there. McBurney ordered them to use a mediator to resolve the dispute after a lawyer for Bernice asked the judge to order mediation and the estate’s lawyer did not object. McBurney said Thursday that he was willing to allow that delay of more than a year because of “the very important issues that are at stake here.” He didn’t set a trial date during the hearing but mentioned mid-August as a possibility. “I think it’s important to the parties and it’s important to the public that this case be treated like we here in the Superior Court try to treat all our civil cases, which is to keep them moving on and not give anyone special treatment just because what’s at stake might actually involve national and global legacies, which this one happens to do,” he said. Former President Jimmy Carter in October confirmed that he was working as a mediator to try to help the King heirs resolve their dispute. A string of legal disputes has divided the King heirs in recent years, but Bernice, Martin III and Dexter released a joint statement expressing optimism after a meeting with Carter in October. Attorneys representing Bernice King and King’s estate told McBurney on Thursday that they hadn’t reached an agreement. An attorney for the estate, Nicole Jennings Wade, described the parties as “very optimistic” and Bernice’s attorney, Eric Barnum, described remaining work as “fine-tuning.” Attorneys for the estate and Bernice declined further comment following the hearing. Bernice spoke from the pulpit of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in February 2014 and denounced what she said was a plan by her brothers to sell the Bible and Nobel medal, which she said were among their father’s most cherished possessions. The estate’s lawyers had cited a 1995 agreement among King’s heirs to sign over their rights to many items they inherited from their father to the estate. A lawyer for the estate said at a hearing shortly after the lawsuit was filed that money that would come in from the sale or lease of the Bible and Nobel medal was crucial to the estate’s viability. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. His widow, Coretta Scott King, died in 2006. Yolanda King, the Kings’ eldest child, died in 2007. The three surviving children are the sole shareholders and directors of Martin Luther King Jr. Estate Inc.

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June 18, 2016   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

Martin Luther King Jr. – The New York Times

Jan. 15, 1929 to April 4, 1968 Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! With these words, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. built a crescendo to his final speech on April 3, 1968. The next day, the civil rights leader was shot and killed on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. At the roots Dr. Kings civil rights convictions was an even more profound faith in the basic goodness of man and the great potential of American democracy. These beliefs gave to his speeches a fervor that could not be stilled by criticism. He rose in 1955 from a newly arrived minister in Montgomery, Ala. to a figure of national prominence. It was Dr. King who dramatized the Montgomery bus boycott with his decision to make it the testing ground, before the eyes of the nation, of his belief in the civil disobedience teachings of Thoreau and Gandhi. In the summer of 1963, Dr. King led the March on Washington, stirring the emotions of millions with the words I have a dream. On Dec. 10, 1964, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. His strong beliefs in civil rights and non-violence made him one of the leading opponents to American participation in the war in Vietnam. At the time he was assassinated in Memphis, Dr. King was involved in one of his greatest plans to dramatize the plight of the poor and stir Congress to help blacks. He called his venture the Poor Peoples Campaign. — Adapted from the New York Times’ obituary. April 5, 1968. Go to Home Page

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June 18, 2016   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

Martin Luther King, Jr. – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Martin Luther King, Jr. King in 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 April 4, 1968), was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and speak against the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”. In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. Allegations that James Earl Ray, the man convicted of killing King, had been framed or acted in concert with government agents persisted for decades after the shooting. King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011. King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and Alberta Williams King.[1] King’s legal name at birth was Michael King,[2] and his father was also born Michael King, but the elder King changed his and his son’s names following a 1934 trip to Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin. It was during this time he chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther.[3][4] King had Irish ancestry through his paternal great-grandfather.[5][6] Martin, Jr., was a middle child, between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King. King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind.[8] King liked singing and music. King’s mother, an accomplished organist and choir leader, took him to various churches to sing. He received attention for singing “I Want to Be More and More Like Jesus.” King later became a member of the junior choir in his church.[9] King said his father regularly whipped him until he was fifteen and a neighbor reported hearing the elder King telling his son “he would make something of him even if he had to beat him to death.” King saw his father’s proud and unafraid protests in relation to segregation, such as Martin, Sr., refusing to listen to a traffic policeman after being referred to as “boy” or stalking out of a store with his son when being told by a shoe clerk that they would have to move to the rear to be served.[10]

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August 7, 2015   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

Martin Luther King Jr. – Biography – Nobel Peace Prize

Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family. In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank. In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure. At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement. On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated. Selected Bibliography Adams, Russell, Great Negroes Past and Present, pp. 106-107. Chicago, Afro-Am Publishing Co., 1963. Bennett, Lerone, Jr., What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Chicago, Johnson, 1964. I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King in Text and Pictures. New York, Time Life Books, 1968.

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August 7, 2015   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed


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