January 17, commemorates the life of Martin Luther King, the American civil rights leader. He was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was assassinated and died on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. In his short 39 years, he became the focal point for the peaceful movement struggling against segregation and disenfranchisement, among other issues.
One of King’s earliest experiences with bigotry occurred when he was a child. He had a white friend. When they started school, they went to segregated schools. The parents of the white boy decided their son could no longer play with a black child. When King told his parents, they told him about slavery and racism. The explanation made him angry, but his parents reminded him that, as a Christian, he needed to love everyone. However, his parents fought discrimination whenever they encountered it. He suffered many incidents involving bigotry over the years.