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Bios of Important Civil-Rights ActivistsHe was born on January 15 1929 at a family home in Atlanta Georgia Kings grandfather was a Baptist preacher His father was pastor of Atlantas Ebenezer Baptist Church King earned his own Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozier Theological Seminary in 1951 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Boston University in 1955 While at seminary King became acquainted with Gandhis philosophy of nonviolent social protest On a trip to India in 1959 King met with followers of Gandhi During these discussions he became more convinced than ever that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom Because of his teachings he learned from Gandhi he was awarded the 1964 Peace Prize As a pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery Alabama King lead a Black bus boycott He and ninety others were arrested and indicted under the provisions of a law making it illegal to conspire to obstruct the operation of a business King and several others were found guilty but appealed their case As the bus boycott dragged on King was gaining a national reputation His Letter from Birmingham Jail inspired the growing civil rights movement When the bus company finally gave up dropping its policy of segregated seating King became a national hero In 1963 he led a massive march on Washington DC where he delivered his now famous I Have A Dream Speech Kings tactics of active nonviolence sit-ins protest marchesetc had put civil-rights squarely on the national agenda He was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee on April 4 1968 King was only 39 at the time of his death Rosa L Parks was born in 1913 in Tuskegee Alabama and is still alive today She was arrested in 1955 because she didnt give her seat up to a white man on a Montgomery bus She was fined 10 for
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