Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia as Michael King Jr. He had a doctorate in theology and was a baptist minister. His contribution to the civil rights movement was his non violent protests and civil disobedience. He started his career in Civil Rights Activism with the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. King’s most famous speech is his “I Have a Dream” speech. He performed it in 1963 in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.  The city of Montgomery Alabama  is where MLK called home . In honor of MLK day we will discuss Montgomery, Alabama and its relevance to the civil right movement.

MLK and Civil rights Movement

Civil rights begins in 19th century abolitionist movement. Segregation was a result of Jim Crow laws. This led to a period of voter supression and violence towards ethnic minorities.    Elsewhere in Eastern Europe pogroms were happening towards european minorities. This brought over 5 million immigrants from 1880 to 1920 to america.  The works of George Gershwin, Al Jolson, Warner Brothers and Irving Berlin wouldn’t be american classics if they didn’t immigrate to this country. Not everyone was ok with the inclusion of new groups in America.  This is why the civil rights movement included many groups.  The start of the 20th century civil rights movement began in 1954 with brown vs board of education. 1 year later MLK got active in Montgomery,Alabama.Dr. Martin L. King was the pastor of the Dexter Ave. Baptist church here from 1954 until 1960. Rosa Parks started a successful 382 day long bus boycott. This was followed by other non violent protests across the country. In 1965, the famous March for Justice led by Dr. Martin L. King. This march started in Selma and ended in Montgomery. Eventually all the protests and actions by millions of people allowed the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and 1968 Civil Rights Act.

MLK As A Minister

Montgomery was once the first capital of the Confederacy. A century later it became the site of the Civil Rights Movement. The Dexter Ave Baptist Church was a key location. It is a National Historic Landmark and is a World Heritage Site nominee .The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church was founded in 1877 in a slave trader’s pen. MLK started his career as a pastor at 25.  During his years as a pastor  Martin Luther King found his mentor who had an influence on his development as a leader. Not too far from the church is the house MLK once lived in .  Now known as  Dexter Avenue Personage Museum the museum serves as a gateway into MLK’s personal life. All this time the city of Montgomery has developed further through changing demographics.

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