48/51 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Born and raised in segregated Atlanta, Martin Luther King, Jr. grew to be the leader of the modern Civil Rights Movement and was recognized worldwide for his campaign of nonviolent social change. In 1955, while a pastor in Montgomery, he began his struggle to end segregation.

After returning to Atlanta to take up the position of associate pastor beside his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church, King continued his campaign for social justice from the pulpit. Through his position as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) headquartered on Auburn Avenue, King helped coordinate social activism across the South.

Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. After King’s assassination in April 1968, over one hundred thousand people lined the streets of Atlanta to witness his funeral procession from Ebenezer Baptist Church to his alma mater of Morehouse College, where a public service was held.

Martin Luther King, Jr. on steps on childhood home.

First & Last Image:
Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center, Bill Wilson Photographs

Second Image:
Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center, Boyd Lewis Photographs

Next: 49 School Integration

African American students integrated Atlanta high schools on August 30, 1961.