King, Martin Luther Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. brought biblical themes of justice and prophetic passion to the campaign for black civil rights. Many of his most famous speeches drew both their biblical allusions and sermonic cadences from his background as a Baptist minister. Evangelicals today look to King’s role in the civil rights movement as an exemplary illustration of how to blend religious witness and political activism in support of the common good, often using King’s example to rebut secularist claims that religion and politics should never be mixed.
More on Martin Luther King Jr.
1929 Michael (later Martin) King born in Atlanta
1930 Black Muslims, a nationalist religious movement, formed in Detroit
1934 Elijah Muhammad assumes leadership of Black Muslims
1954 King becomes a pastor in Montgomery, Alabama
1955-56 Leads Montgomery bus boycott
1957 Becomes president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
1960s Black Muslim leader Malcolm X preaches revolutionary violence to gain justice for blacks
1963 March on Washington culminates in King's "I Have a Dream" speech
1964 King wins the Nobel Peace Prize
1965 Leads Selma-to-Montgomery march; Malcolm X assassinated
1968 King assassinated in Memphis
1976 Black Muslim Louis Farrakhan leads a splinter group to form the Nation of Islam
1986 King's birthday becomes a national holiday
See also Christian History's articles on Martin Luther King Jr.:
1963: Martin Luther King, Jr. Leads the March on Washington | A Baptist preacher had a dream that guided one of the most profound social movements of our times. (Issue 28: The 100 Most Important Events in Church History)
Martin Luther King, Jr. | No Christian played a more prominent role in the 20th century's most significant social justice movement. (Issue 65: The 10 Most Influential Christians of the 20th Century)