March 26, 2006

“I have a dream…”

Posted in English, Outstanding Figures at 12:03 pm by Rou...

Back in school time, during 1st year in preparatory stage or so, I used to take conversation courses in the International Language Institute. It had a speech hanged somewhere on a wall there. I didn’t really understand the true meanings of the whole speech back then, but what grabbed my attention the most was that it had a repeated phrase that said “I have a dream…”


In 1996, in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, they displayed parts of that speech, and again the same phrase stopped me; “I have a dream…”


Afterwards, I got the whole speech, and learned that the man who was addressing that speech was called Martin Luther King, Jr.


I started to collect as many quotes as I could for him, but the funny thing was that I never tried to read about his biography except lately.


So, anyhow; I just wanted to share this with you.



Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)


Birth and Family

         Was the first son and the second child born to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King.


         Born as “Michael Luther King”, but later had his name changed to Martin.


         In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments, the younger daughter of Obadiah and Bernice McMurry Scott of Marion, Alabama, on June 18, 1953.


         Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

         Yolanda Denise (November 17, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama)

         Martin Luther III (October 23, 1957, Montgomery, Alabama)

         Dexter Scott (January 30, 1961, Atlanta, Georgia)

–         Bernice Albertine (March 28, 1963, Atlanta, Georgia)



         Attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen.


–         Received the B. A. degree in Sociology in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had been 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 Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) degree 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


Career and Achievements

         Accepted the pastorale of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama in 1954. (This lasted from September 1954 to November 1959.)


         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.


         Early in December, 1955, he accepted 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 honorary degrees from various colleges and universities in the United States and several foreign countries.


–         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.


         He was awarded the John F. Kennedy Award, from the Catholic Interracial Council of Chicago, 1964.


         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.

Scene Finale

         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.



I’ll be following this email with other posts including some of his famous quotes and parts of his famous speeches.

In the meanwhile you can Read and Listen to his complete famous speech “I have a dream” through this link:

Sorry for making it a very long email… and hope it wasn’t a boring one…

Have a great day…




Biography References:



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