The man, the legend, the preacher. While I honor the work our Lord accomplished in Dr. King, I am aware of the human frailties this man possessed.
Dead people tend to be glorified AND exaggerated after they pass. It happens to the best of the Lord’s weak vessels of humanity. Dr. King is no different.
Martin grew up in humble beginnings. Born in Atlanta, Georgia. His father left their family's sharecropper farm to become a minister of the Gospel. After King Sr. married Alberta, they were blessed with three children, Dr. King being the middle child. One of his father’s first commissions was the Associate Pastor position at Ebenezer church. After the death of the Senior Pastor, King Senior took the role of head of the church. Thus, Dr. King grew up as a typical “preachers-kid.”
As the norm for child discipline in those days, Dr. King grew up with strong parental discipline. However, it was his grandmother that would tell lively Biblical stories to the children. King was close to his grandmother. So much so, once, when his grandmother was knocked unconscious, thinking she was dead, he attempted suicide by jumping from a second-story window. While his attempt was fruitless, his devotion to his grandmother grew more intense after realizing she was not dead. However, it needs to be noted that King suffered “depression” throughout his life, even up to his death.
Like many leaders who suffer from despair, King turned these dark times into fighting for life, not only for himself but those around him. He believed that despair is birth out of bondage to darkness. He further believed that darkness was birthed through slavery – of any type.
Dr. King’s passion for equality began with a friendship with a “white boy” who lived across the street from their home. At the early age of six, he was troubled that his friend was attending an all-white school while King was required to attend a “black” school. Soon, his friend's parents stopped allowing King to play with their son. During this time, King’s parents educated him on his family’s history of slavery and racism. Early on, King stated, “I will determine to hate every white person.” Accounts reveal that it took relentless training by his parents to cement the doctrines of, “Son, it is your Christian duty to love everyone.” Honestly, as in the case of most great leaders, it was King’s parents who were the real heroes in this story.
Through childhood, King watched his father stand up to oppressors of segregation and discrimination while respecting the ideology of a colorless society. Through endless demonstrations of his father refusing segregation, either by the ministry or purchasing items in “white” merchant stores, King began to learn the balance of Grace and resistance.
While Dr. King is noted for his marches and protests against segregation, in reality, his father led hundreds of civil rights marches in politically driven public places. King Sr. was a brilliant pastor. He knew that the key to freedom in America was in voting in leaders that would sustain a colorless society – each bearing equal rights as citizens of the land of the free. King Jr. later referenced his father, saying, “My father was a real father to me.” Again, who was the real hero in our story?
During King’s adolescence, he struggled with resentment against the “whites” due to the constant affliction brought down on his father and family. While his father’s focus was politics, young Jr. believed that “black” folks working in the “white” world were a key to racial freedom. Jr. adopted this focus by paying close attention to the words and actions of his grandfather, Williams, who formed the African-American student educational program – oddly partially supported by the city of Atlanta.
During King’s adolescence, the Lord began to work out his bitterness and skepticism of traditional Christianity. At one point in his youth, he resisted the teachings preached at his father’s church. At another point, he even denied the bodily resurrection of Jesus. He later said that “doubts began to spring forth unrelentingly.” However, his passion for resisting racism grew all the more.
God used this spiritually dark period to develop King’s passion. In High School, he became known for his public-speaking abilities. His studies were focused on history and sociology. Through the assistance of his sister, he became a bit obsessed with fashion, believing the way a man adorns himself marks his place in society. A belief he maintained throughout his life and career.
The event that marked King’s memory for life was when he was in High School; he was forced to stand in a bus while the “white” folks sat. He said this memory marked him for life. With this event, he began considering how he would confront racism sociologically and the future of “black” history.
Through the constant awards he received in speeches, black and white people were beginning to see the writing on the wall, “we have a history changer on our hands.” On his first trip outside the south, he realized a major difference between the folks in the south and those that lived in the north. As he passed through Washington, he saw with his own eyes that no discrimination was observed. When he visited a local church, he was shocked that the white and black folk were sitting together without segregation. This experience caused him to reevaluate his skepticism of classic Christianity. Furthermore, he realized there was something horrifically wrong with the south.
As a result of this experience, he enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. Not only did King return to his faith in Christ, he quickly became known as one of the “Sons of Calvary.” During his tenure at Crozer, he was honored as a leading African-American activist in the seminary, which hosted whites and blacks. This dynamic opened the door for him to fall in love with a white woman he planned to marry, but he broke off the engagement due to the shame it would bring upon his family. However, his attitude toward a colorless society was proven in this love.
After graduation, he was offered advanced studies at the University of Edinburgh for his doctorate; however, he chose Boston University instead. This turned out to be a Divine decision. While in his graduate program, King became the assistant minister at the historically famed Twelfth Baptist Church through the strong influence of his father. Once again, his father’s guidance respectfully guided his son’s life. This position offered him many opportunities to preach at other churches. Keeping in mind that his sermons were packed with the Biblical equality doctrines proclaimed throughout the Scriptures. While the masses viewed them as politically charged, King stood his ground on the doctrinal values of a colorless society equals a colorless Gospel.
Even though King’s doctorate dissertation was charged with plagiarism, the University decided to accept the writing project as “scholarly” due to the societal challenges placed within his work. With this dark stain being in place to this day, many scholars consider the birth of a new kind of nation came from his well-groomed dissertation. If you have heard of the phrase, “I had a dream,” you can read the details of this dream from this period of his studies.
One of the highlights of his time in Boston was meeting Coretta Scott – his wife for life. This union became the strongest support system his future was about to demand.
King soon started the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with several other leaders. In this role, was when he spoke to his first national audience. During this time, he also embraced a national vision to change the oppressive culture of racism within the United States. Throughout his involvement, he formed what the masses remember him by – organized nonviolent protest against the system of southern segregation.
Overnight, King became a target for the political white supremacist. During his activist activities, the FBI was under the written directive from Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to place a wiretap on King’s telephone. Kennedy was concerned that some of the SCLC's activities were affecting the civil rights initiative both the Kennedys and King were working on. Kennedy asked that King disengage association with the group. The wiretap placed on many of the leaders within SCLC gave J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI Director, enough evidence to convince him that the communist infiltration point was through the SCLC. Sadly, this troublesome time led to conspiracy theories connected to who shot Dr. King and President John F. Kennedy.
While these conspiracies continue roll around in the minds of many historians, myself included, the facts that do exist are immovable. God birthed a humble man, raised by a fearless Godly father, surrounded by a devoted family, to change the course of our nation. A nation divided in two – the north, filled with authentic Christians who were known for practicing what they preached, and the south, where real-deal Christians were under the white supremacist politicals, managed under the banner of “Christian Masons.”
Who do I blame for the oppressive slavery our country profited from? I can assure you, it isn’t the “white” folks. It is none other than the infiltration of the European Masons, who worked relentlessly to suffocate our country with their bigotry and darkness. Through many leaders and movements, the bigot Masons were forced to take their confederate propaganda by attempting to claim the south as their own. This, of course, ignited the great American Civil War. Lincoln might have won that war, but in my humble opinion, Dr. Martin Luther King was used by God to end the leftovers of that war and start a healing of what these oppressive Masons did to our land of the free.
Dr. King would be horrified by the bigotry of his people, the white folks, Asian, Jews, and any other people of color we have in our nation today. Dead people cannot defend their message. However, suppose this humble man believed His Savior wanted him to preach a colorless society. In that case, the only way we can help finish Dr. King’s mission is to return to Jesus Christ and His message that ALL men are created equal.