Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia.
In September of 1951, Martin Luther King began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University and was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology in 1955. From 1960 until his death in 1968, he was co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church and President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Dr. King's philosophy of nonviolent direct action and his strategies for rational and non-destructive social change galvanized the conscience of this nation and reordered its priorities. His wisdom, his words, his actions, his commitment, and his dreams for a new cast of life, are intertwined with the American experience. Dr. King's speech at the march on Washington in 1963, his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and his final speech in Memphis (I've Been to the Mountaintop) are among some of the most famous speeches in American history.
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.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification," one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.