The Influence of Martin Luther King Jr.

3372 WordsApr 26, 200914 Pages
Martin had many influences throughout his life, many of which would shape his rhetoric, and the way he handled himself and those around him. Martin’s influences could be traced back to three things: his parents and home life, his education, and then his own personal experiences with racism. These three topics shaped Martin and his views on racism, and they were also what made him the most respected and the most admired Civil Rights Leader of his time. Martin’s Parents and Home Life Martin Luther King Jr. stood for many things; non-violence, love, equality, peace, all of which could be used to define his perfect community, his perfect world. Martin believed all of these things could be achieved with persistence and the right frame…show more content…
In spite of her relatively comfortable circumstances, Martin’s mother never complacently adjusted herself to the system of segregation. She instilled a sense of self-respect in all of her children from the very beginning. Martin’s mother confronted the age-old problem of the Negro parent in America: how to explain discrimination and segregation to a small child. She taught Martin that he should always feel a sense of "somebodiness," but that on the other hand, he had to go out there and face a system that would consistently say he would always be ‘one step back, no matter how fast he ran.’ Alberta also told Martin about slavery and how it ended with the Civil War. She tried to explain the divided system of the South—the segregated schools, restaurants, theaters, housing; the white and colored signs on drinking fountains, waiting rooms, lavatories—as a social condition rather than a natural order. She made it clear that she opposed this system and that Martin must never allow it to make himself feel inferior. Needless to say, Martin’s home situation was very congenial. It is said that Martin really admired his parents, and that an argument between the two rarely occurred. These factors were highly significant in determining his religious attitudes. It was also quite easy for Martin to think of a God of love mainly because he grew up in a family where love was central theme and where love-based relationships were always present. Martin too found it fairly

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