KING Martin Luther Jr. — English

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

KING Martin Luther Jr.

KING Martin Luther Jr.

Baptist Pastor and politically active Afro-American militant. His non-violent combat for the civic rights of Afro-Americans, for peace and against poverty catalysed a step-change in racial relations and laws in the USA.
Nobel Peace Prize 1964.

1929 -  1968


Martin Luther King fought for equal rights for Afro-Americans, first in the highly segregated south of the USA and then nationally. At the time, Afro-Americans had segregated busing. They were subject to violence and murder as is still the case in the 21st century.

In 1954, Martin Luther King became one of the leaders of the main Afro-American Civil Rights Movement (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and led several bus boycotts, starting with the one initiated after Rosa Park's refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man.

It was essential for him that every act of resistance be non-violent, inspired by the ideas and tactics developed by Gandhi, and also by Christian non-violent philosophy of which that of the Quaker movement.

He is best remembered for his brilliant speech "I have a dream" expressed in front of the White House in 1963:

"(...) I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. (...)".

In 1964, Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to overcome racial discrimination, segregation and inequality through non-violent means. He was then the youngest recipient of the Prize.

In 1968, he was assassinated prior to the Poor People's March that he was planning in Washington DC. It is widely assumed that this was a government-led conspiracy. His assassination needs to be put into context: 4 political assassinations took place in the space of 5 years: John F. Kennedy (1963), Malcolm X (1965), Martin Luther King (1964) and Robert Kennedy (1968).


1958: Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, ISBN 978-0-06-250490-6
1959: The Measure of a Man, ISBN 978-0-8006-0877-4
1963: Strength to Love, ISBN 978-0-8006-9740-2
1963: "I have a dream", speech, Wadhington DC.
1964: Why We Can't Wait, ISBN 978-0-8070-0112-7

Because all life is interrelated

It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality . . . Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.

  • Quote

Educating low-income minority children

First, teach them to believe in themselves".

  • Quote

It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence

It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation, and our earthly habitat would be transformed into an inferno that even the mind of Dante could not imagine."

Leadership through consensus

Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus."

Remaining Awake Through a triple Revolution

There can be no gainsaying of the fact that a great revolution is taking place in the world today. In a sense it is a triple revolution: that is, a technological revolution, with the impact of automation and cybernation; then there is a revolution in weaponry, with the emergence of atomic and nuclear weapons of warfare; then there is a human rights revolution, with the freedom explosion that is taking place all over the world." (...)

Seeing the light in darkness

Only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars.

  • Quote

We must learn to live as brothers or die as fools

Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality."