GXB16440 1960s – Political Assassinations Shock World by Paul and Chris Calle © Wind River Studios

Martin Luther King received his theological degree at the Crozier Seminary in Pennsylvania and doctorate in theology from Boston University. A brilliant academic career was open to him, but he preferred to return to the South, where he was soon called to his own church in Birmingham, Alabama. He found there the same implacable refusal to accept the verdict of Appomattox he had known elsewhere, but change was in the air. Fed up with a century of lawlessness by the white community, the blacks of Birmingham organized a boycott, and turned to their new minister, Dr. King, for leadership. The Birmingham boycott set off a conflagration which swept the South, and the North too, producing a degree of unity among blacks — and their white allies — as had not been known since Lincoln proclaimed emancipation. It made King a national, even a world figure. His leadership rallied millions to his cause, and in August 1963, King led 200,000 protesters in a gathering on the Mall in Washington. There he electrified his followers with his peroration: “Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty we are Free at Last.” For five years thereafter he went from city to city with his gospel of Freedom. In April 1968, he went to Memphis, Tennessee, to plead the cause of the black sanitation workers there. In his address the night before the march he said: “God has allowed me to go up to the Mountain, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there, but we as a people will get there.”

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