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What inspired Martin Luther King Jr.?

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The main driving force behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s actions was his vision of racial equality as a moral right, explain Vera Chan and Max Zimbert of Yahoo News. During his speeches, King most frequently cited the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and quoted the words of Jesus Christ, along with famous authors such as Shakespeare and Thomas Jefferson.

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What inspired Martin Luther King Jr.?
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Additional inspirations to Dr. King include Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, according to Nathan Raab of Forbes magazine. For example, King's insistence that his followers engage in peaceful protests was reminiscent of Gandhi's teachings. Thoreau is the author of "Civil Disobedience," which provides a framework for people to dissent respectfully against laws they don't agree with. This is a piece King referenced in his autobiography.

Many of King's motivational sources were written into his most popular speeches. He would often quote his favorite authors and recite biblical passages to illustrate his arguments. King's methods of incorporating international literature into his addresses prove that he saw his cause as reaching further than the African-American Civil Rights Movement. King believed that civil liberties and racial equality were applicable to all of humankind, as was evidenced in his quote of John Donne's statement, "No man is an island."

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  • Q:

    What were some of Martin Luther King Jr.'s most notable achievements?

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    Martin Luther King Jr.'s formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize and his tireless work towards desegregation are widely considered to be his greatest achievements. The SCLC was founded in 1957 with the goal of achieving civil rights and fighting segregation. King was an influential pioneer of the civil rights movement in the U.S. and was the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize, which he was awarded in 1964 at the age of 35.

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  • Q:

    Did Rosa Parks ever meet Martin Luther King Jr.?

    A:

    Rosa Parks first met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in August 1955, when he was the guest speaker at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, and she was the secretary. Parks is best known for refusing to give up her seat to a white bus passenger on December 1, 1955, which began efforts to end segregation across the country. She is called the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement."

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  • Q:

    What did Martin Luther King, Jr. believe in?

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    Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in a number of interrelated principles that served as the foundation of his social activism, including Christianity, non-violence and racial equality. King viewed his Civil Rights work from a spiritual perspective and attempted to distance himself from party politics.

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  • Q:

    How many children did Martin Luther King Jr. have?

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    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had four children with his wife Coretta Scott King. Yolanda Denise King was born in November 1955, Martin Luther King III was born in October 1957, Dexter Scott King was born in January 1961, and Bernice Albertine King was born in March 1963.

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