ML King Day to be Thoughtful

This is not to say that it’s been canceled. Not by any stretch of the imagination as the ad to the right indicates.

There is scheduled to be a Community Celebration at the Flint Institute of Arts, but many events, including the United Way’s annual Martin Luther King Day of Service, will not take place because of Covid virus concerns.

I can only assume that some events ARE scheduled around Flint and Genesee County, but as of this writing, I am unaware of them. I will certainly post them as I find them on the Flint Neighborhoods United Facebook page.

Until then I would like to leave you a list of important dates in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also see page 10 for King’s I Have a Dream speech.

  • 1929 Martin Luther King, Jr., is born Michael King on January 15 in Atlanta to teacher Alberta King and Baptist minister Michael  King.  (In honor of the German religious reformer, Martin Luther, the elder King later changes his name to Martin Luther King and his son’s name to Martin Luther King, Jr.)
  • 1944 Graduates high school at age 15, enters Morehouse Collegeshortly thereafter.
  • 1948 Receives BA in sociology from Morehouse College at age 19.
  • 1951 Receives degree from Crozer Theological Seminary (Chester, Pa.), enrolls in Boston University Ph.D. program.
  • 1953 Marries New England Conservatory music student Coretta Scott; they eventually have four children.
  • 1955 Receives Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University.
  • 1955 The 26-year-old King leads boycott of segregated Montgomery buses, gains national reputation.
  • 1956 King’s house is bombed. U.S. Supreme Court ruling prompts Montgomery to desegregate buses.
  • 1957 King helps found Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
  • 1959 Visits India to study nonviolence and civil disobedience.
  • 1960 Joins his father as co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
  • 1963 King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham; writes Letter From Birmingham City Jail, arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws. Delivers “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington attended by 200,000 protesters, creates powerful image, builds momentum for civil rights legislation.
  • 1964 Congress passes Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing segregation in public accommodations and discrimination in education and employment. King receives Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 1965 King and SCLC join voting-rights march from Selma to Montgomery; police beat and tear gas marchers; King addresses rally before state capitol, builds support for voting rights. Congress passes Voting Rights Act of 1965, which suspends (later bans) literacy tests and other restrictions to prevent blacks from voting.
  • 1966  Growing popularity of the black power movement, blacks stressing self-reliance and self-defense, indicates King’s influence was declining, especially among young blacks.
  • 1966 King turns toward economic issues; SCLC moves civil rights struggle to the North; opens Chicago office to organize protests against housing and employment discrimination.
  • 1967 King plans Poor People’s Campaign; advocates redistribution of wealth to eradicate black poverty.
  • 1968 King is assassinated in Memphis, during visit to support striking black garbage collectors; violent riots erupt in more than 100 U.S. cities.
  • 1983 The U.S. Congress establishes Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, in his honor, a national holiday to be celebrated annually on the third Monday in January.

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