Bill Federer recounts words of Martin Luther King Jr.


Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born Jan. 15, 1929.

A Baptist minister like his father and grandfather, he pastored Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery and Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

He formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill making the third Monday in January a holiday in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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On April 16, 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote: “As the Apostle Paul carried the gospel of Jesus Christ … so am I compelled to carry the gospel.”

King continued: “One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage.”

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, were influenced by the German church leader Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who resisted Hitler’s National Socialist Workers’ Party. Bonhoeffer was himself influenced by the Black preacher, Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, once the largest Protestant church in America.

King was also influenced by Henry David Thoreau, who wrote in his book, In Civil Disobedience (1849): “That government is best which governs least.”

King attended Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, 1942-44.

Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and wrote in “Up From Slavery” (1901): “I resolved that I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him. With God’s help, I believe that I have completely rid myself of any ill feeling toward the Southern white man for any wrong that he may have inflicted upon my race. … I pity from the bottom of my heart any individual who is so unfortunate as to get into the habit of holding race prejudice.”

Booker T. Washington stated: “In the sight of God there is no color line, and we want to cultivate a spirit that will make us forget that there is such a line anyway. … I have always had the greatest respect for the work of the Salvation Army especially because I have noted that it draws no color line in religion.”

Booker T. Washington wrote in “Up From Slavery” (1901): “There is a class of race problem solvers who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. … Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances because they do not want to lose their jobs. … They don’t want the patient to get well. … Great men cultivate love. … Only little men cherish a spirit of hatred.”

A professor at Tuskegee was the world renowned George Washington Carver, who wrote to Robert Johnson, March 24, 1925: “Thank God I love humanity; complexion doesn’t interest me one single bit.”

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