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How did Martin Luther King, Jr. become famous?

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Quick Answer

Martin Luther King Jr. became famous due to his efforts and activism to end segregation of African-Americans in America, particularly in Southern states. King gained national attention after organizing boycotts in Montgomery, Ala., in response to the Rosa Parks incident.

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Full Answer

Martin Luther King was a pastor who became a civil rights leader early in his career due to racial tensions in the South. In 1954, he organized boycotts in Alabama after Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus to a white person. A few years later, King established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, with which he coordinated civil rights activity across the South. Success was not immediate with the group, as segregation was deep-rooted in the South.

King was never deterred from his goal and continued to fight for civil rights. He organized a huge demonstration in Birmingham, Ala., during which he was jailed along with other demonstrators. From his jail cell, King wrote his famous Birmingham speech, which explained his ideas regarding nonviolent action. The Birmingham incident paved the way for a national event, which took place in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial. The event was monumental, as thousands attended and King presented his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, a defining moment in the civil rights movement.

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