Martin Luther King Jr Biography, kids learn about Martin Luther King Jr history by reading a story told by a childhood friend.
Martin Luther King Jr biography, told through the eyes of a childhood friend. Children will learn important events in history which eventually led to us honoring this great man on Martin Luther King Jr Day. Listen to this engaging fictional story based on real events online free!
This Martin Luther King Jr biography adventure is about two friends who grew up on the same street in Atlanta. One of the friends was Martin Luther King Jr or ML as he was called. This story is a fictional story (which means it's not real), but it is based on real events that happened. We really love reading historical fiction because it's a great way to learn about history in an interesting way! So let's head South to Atlanta, Georgia where the story begins.
Martin Luther King Jr Biography: Separate and Not Equal
ML was my neighbor and one of my best friends growing up. His real name was Michael before he changed it to Martin Luther King Jr. many years later in 1957. But we called him Mike or ML growing up.
We all lived on Auburn Ave. in Atlanta, Georgia. Those were the days! We played all summer long with the other neighborhood kids from dawn till dusk until one day a good friend of ours told us his daddy wouldn't let him play with us anymore 'cause our skin was black. He sure was upset and none of us understood why in the world we couldn't be friends anymore on account of our skin! But that was just the first of many things that began to happen because of our skin color. As we grew unto teenagers we knew our skin color meant more to some people than anything else we said or did.
Photo of boys by Muus Creation
Our skin color made us go to separate schools, drink at separate water fountains, ride in the back of the bus or stand if there weren't enough seats for white skinned people.They called it segregation. Of course this bothered us all, but I think it bothered ML even more.
Martin Luther King Jr Biography: A Man of Many Words for Change
Man, ML was smart. When we were in high school he won all sorts of debates and speech contests. He went on to attend several colleges and graduated top of his class, then went on to Boston University's school of Theology. That's where he met Coretta. Boy was he head over heels for her! They got married in 1953 and shortly after that moved to Montgomery, Alabama where ML became the pastor of a Baptist Church. His daddy was sure proud of him, he had always wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and became a pastor.
ML and Coretta Scott King were just settling into married life when they found out they were expecting a baby! ML became a Daddy in November of 1955 when his daughter Yoki was born. One month later things started getting crazy in Alabama. A lady named Rosa Parks was on the bus and a white skinned person wanted her seat, well she said, "No." and that sent things into motion that would change things forever. The police arrested Rosa and the black skinned people said enough is enough! We were tired of being treated so badly just because the color of our skin. So we got together and decided to not ride any busses on the day of Rosa's trial. Well that got people's attention because most of us who rode the bus had black skin, so those busses were mostly empty on December 5, 1955!
ML spoke to a packed church that night and gave people courage to continue fighting peacefully to be treated equally. And for days after that we continued to boycott the busses. We walked in the rain and cold. Those of us who had cars gave rides to other black people all over town. We ended up staying off the busses for 400 days until someone finally listened. The courts outlawed segregated bussing in Atlanta! But we couldn't stop there. We had to keep on fighting to be treated the same as people with white skin.
Photo of burned church by Tom Burke
Martin Luther King Jr Biography: Persecuted
But some white folks didn't like what was happening. They didn't like us standing up for our rights to be treated just like everyone else. So they stated bombing black people's houses, black owned businesses and other terrible things. Still, ML said that we needed to keep doing what was right and do it peacefully even if we were persecuted. ML was a Christian, he knew and believed in Jesus. Jesus was also persecuted for what was right but never acted out in hatred toward those who hated him. ML was following in Jesus' footsteps alright.
My good friend ML faced death threats, his home was bombed, he was arrested, he feared for his family yet he loved the people who wanted to harm him. He loved them not because he felt like it, but because God told him to. Finally on June 11, 1963 President Kennedy sent Congress a bill that would end all segregation but Mr. Kennedy was shot and killed before his bill could become a law.
On August 28, 1963 my friend gave his most famous speech at the March on Washington D.C. called I Have a Dream
On July 2, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson finally signed the late President Kennedy's bill into law - the Civil Rights Act would fight against discrimination.
Martin Luther King Jr Biography: Living On
You'd think that we'd won, that it was over, that the hatred and violence would have stopped - but it didn't. It got worse. My friend, ML continued to receive death threats, bombings at his home and other family member's homes, rocks thrown at him, crosses burned in his yard. And finally, on April 4, 1968 my friend was shot and killed for what he believed in. He gave his life so the rest of us could one day enjoy the same treatment as everybody else. It came at a huge cost, my friend ML followed Jesus right into glory. Jesus also gave his life so that we all could live in glory. One day I'll see Jesus and my friend ML again and thank them both for giving their lives for what they believed in.
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