How Far Was the Slow Pace of Change for Black Americans Due to the Power of the States from 1945-1962?

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Martin Luther King was born on 15 January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia (US). Originally named Michael, he was later renamed Martin, like his father, a Baptist minister. His mother, Alberta Williams King, was a schoolteacher.
He entered Morehouse College in 1944 and forged a lifelong friendship with his teacher, Benjamin Mays. Together with his father's influence, it was partly his respect for Mays which led him to the Church. He was ordained in his last semester.
He graduated from Morehouse in 1948 and undertook postgraduate study first at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and then, in 1951, at Boston University's School of Theology. Once there he completed his dissertation which, it was later revealed, had been partially plagiarised, and won his doctorate in 1955. It was in Boston that he met his wife Coretta Scott, who he married in 1953.
In 1954, he became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where Rosa Parks was famously arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus.
National awareness
After Parks' arrest, King came to national prominence in the US. He was a leading figure in organising the boycott by African Americans of buses in Montgomery.
"It was thrust upon him in many respects," says John A. Kirk, Chair of History at the University of Arkansas. "In 1955-56 he came to prominence. He didn't seek out leadership. They needed a leader...King was a neutral choice. He was young and new to town and wasn't a threat."
Tutelage from Bayard Rustin, a prominent civil rights campaigner, helped King to commit to a principle of non-violent action heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's success in opposing the British in India.
In 1957, King established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with fellow activists C.K. Steele, Fred Shuttleworth and T.J. Jemison.
As SCLC president, King was tasked with…...

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