Martin Luther King Jr. was an American civil rights activist who is best known for using non-violent civil disobedience tactics to secure equal rights for African Americans. He was named Michael King Jr. at birth but later changed his name to Martin Luther King Jr. He was born on January 15, 1929. His father was a Baptist minister and his mother was a school teacher. He first attended Booker T. Washington High School and then entered Morehouse College at the age of fifteen, where he received a degree in Sociology. He was initially reluctant to be a minister like his father but later entered the seminary from where he graduated in 1951. He then enrolled at Boston University where he received his Ph.D. in June, 1955. In Boston, he met Coretta Scott, whom he married and the couple had four children.
King was deeply resentful at the racial discrimination he faced while growing up. During his junior year at high school he was forced to stand up on a bus ride with his teacher to make room for white passengers. This played a part in his later venture into civil rights activism. In 1954, he became the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He also became a member of the executive committee of NAACP i.e. the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Two incidents in 1955 led him to engage more actively in his cause for advancement of African American rights; the first was in March 1955 when a 15 year old African American girl named Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat in a bus for a white man and later in December 1955 when an elderly African American woman named Rosa Parks did the same. Both women were jailed but later released due to mounting pressure by the community. After the Parks incident, King and other activists planned a city wide boycott of the bus service. The boycott lasted for 382 days where African Americans chose to walk to work and were widely harassed, both physically and mentally. The city of Montgomery suffered massive losses and