Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Selma

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About Him

Living... in Montgomery, Alabama, circa 1965. But with his full-time activist schedule, King is almost always on the road, returning home to visit his family for only a few days at a time.

Visiting... Selma, Alabama. Looking to stage a non-violent protest for the maximum impact, King selects Selma both for its thriving activist community and its tense, racially charged atmosphere. King plans to use his tactics of non-violence to provoke the racist leadership in Selma and bring more national attention to the cause of voting discrimination. Speaking to a crowd, King implores, “We must march! We must stand up! We must make a massive demonstration.”

Profession... minister and Civil Rights activist. The recent Nobel Peace Prize winner is one of the key figures in the Civil Rights movement. The public side of his work includes giving impassioned speeches and leading non-violent protests. But King also has a full slate of behind-the-scenes activism, from meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson to strategizing with other leaders about the nitty-gritty details of protesting.    

Interests... activism and activists. As a public face of the Civil Rights movement, King has no time for personal hobbies. However, he does care deeply for his fellow activists, many of whom he considers close friends. From his colleagues in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to the local Selma residents who protest alongside him, King feels personally responsible for all those who put their lives on the line because of his leadership.  

Relationship Status... married with four children. Coretta Scott King is a rock for her husband in both his personal life and his activism. Yet despite that, King does not always stay faithful to the wife he loves.

Challenge... passing the Voting Rights Act. With the Civil Rights Act passed less than a year ago, King wants President Johnson to move forward with legislation that will finally end voter discrimination against African-Americans. When Johnson postpones the issue, King organizes a protest march from Selma to Montgomery. He explains to Johnson, “It cannot wait! People are dying!”

Personality... passionate, thoughtful, brave, organized, and logical. As one of the most prominent social activists in America, King feels the weight of the world on his shoulders. Publicly he presents himself as a confident, fearless leader. In private, however, he is able to open up about the difficulties of leading such a massive movement.

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