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Daring to Dream: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A presentation for grades 6 through 8 by the Rice University Black Student Association and Office of Public.

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Presentation on theme: "Daring to Dream: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A presentation for grades 6 through 8 by the Rice University Black Student Association and Office of Public."— Presentation transcript:

1 Daring to Dream: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A presentation for grades 6 through 8 by the Rice University Black Student Association and Office of Public Affairs.

2 Understanding MLK In order to better understand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is first helpful to recall some details of our country’s early history.

3 A History of Slavery For more than a hundred years before America became an independent country, and for nearly a hundred years afterward, thousands of women, men, and children were taken from their homes in Africa and forced to work here as slaves. Slaves on an American plantation

4 Freedom In 1862, American President Abraham Lincoln signed the “Emancipation Proclamation” which freed all slaves in the southern states of our country. In 1865, he signed the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery in the USA forever.

5 Segregation But even though they were no longer slaves, most African Americans still were not treated fairly, or given the same rights as white people. All around the country, black people were “segregated” (separated) from white people, and not allowed to go to the same schools or restaurants, nor shop in the same stores. Students in an all-black segregated school

6 The Young MLK Martin Luther King, Jr. (“MLK”) was born in Georgia on January 15, 1929. He went to segregated schools when he was growing up. Education was very important to the young MLK. After graduating from high school, and getting a college degree also, he went back to school again to become a church minister. His last college degree was a Ph.D. (a “doctorate”) in religion, which is why we know him as “Dr. King.”

7 The Life of MLK Dr. King married Coretta Scott in 1953. They later had two sons and two daughters. In 1954, he became a church minister just like his father and his grandfather. He was pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in the segregated town of Montgomery, Alabama, when something happened that changed Dr. King’s life forever… Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

8 Becoming a Leader On December 1, 1955, a woman named Rosa Parks was riding a Montgomery, Alabama city bus when the driver told her to give up her seat for a white passenger. She didn’t think that was fair and refused, so the bus driver called the police, who put her in jail. To protest, Dr. King decided to lead a bus boycott. “Boycott” means “refuse to use.” With leadership from Dr. King, Montgomery’s black residents refused to use the city bus system while it remained segregated.

9 Becoming a Leader The Montgomery bus boycott continued for more than a year. Finally, in 1956, the United States Supreme Court ruled that that segregation on public buses was against the law. Dr. King’s strategy of peaceful, non-violent protest had proved successful, and it made him a recognized leader in the national effort to secure equal “civil rights” for all Americans.

10 Leading the Nation For eight years after the bus boycott, Dr. King traveled throughout the United States, speaking more than 25,000 times against the injustice of segregation, and leading peaceful civil rights marches. Many Americans supported this civil rights movement, but others who opposed the ending of segregation did not like what Dr. King was saying and doing. He was arrested and put in jail more than once, and threats were made to try to silence him. His home was even bombed.

11 Leading the Nation In 1963, Dr. King helped lead the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. More than 250,000 people turned out to show their support for equal rights for all Americans. During the march, Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, one of the greatest public speeches in American history.I Have a Dream Click picture to watch speech on CBS News

12 Leading the Nation Shortly after the March on Washington, the United States Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed segregation and guaranteed equal rights for all American citizens. In recognition of his work as a civil rights leader and his dedication to non- violence, later that same year, Martin Luther King, Jr. became the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

13 Leading the Nation After 1964, Dr. King continued to push for enforcement of civil rights laws. He also spoke out against America’s involvement in the Vietnam War and for the rights of poor people. On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was shot and killed by an assassin’s bullet. Since his death, others in the civil rights movement have worked to continued his legacy.

14 Dr. King’s Legacy Today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remains a hero to millions across our nation and throughout the world. His example continues to inspire those who seeking freedom and equality for all people.

15 Dr. King’s Legacy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dared to dream that he could make the world a better place. Then he set out to get the education he needed to make that happen. What do you dream of doing in your life? What kind of education will you need to do that? At Rice, we believe that you can make our world a better place, and we want to help. To know more, please visit

16 “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

17 References Texts cited: Image sources:

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