Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
King, Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. (1929–1968)
William E. Kelly
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929 in an area that, today, is a national historical site. His father was a minister and a prominent member of the community who served as a pastor at a nearby church. During King's early days as a child, his parents attempted to shield him from some of the racial segregation policies characteristic of the time; however, racism permeated the atmosphere of his environment. A segregated society was a way of life that was even legalized by the United States Supreme Court in the famous case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which established the important segregationist doctrine of “separate but equal.” Even after this doctrine was later repudiated by the Supreme Court in the momentous case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), there was much to work for in terms of In ...