Happy Martin Luther King Day, folks!
Today we celebrate the legacy of one of the true founders of the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King. This, however will not be your typical article highlighting Dr. King and all of his accomplishments. I wanted to bring to light a few facts that maybe some of us do not know about Dr. King....these facts will not highlight well known great feats of the legend, but instead shed light onto just how much of a human being Dr. King actually was...so that we may understand clearer how much of a true connection he has to you and me.
It's easy to see Dr. King as one of the most prominent figures in our history...especially as a person of ethnicity or color. With his holiday publicly celebrated every year, and the growing diversity of the human race in all of it's wonderful swirl, we all tend to look at Dr. King as somewhat of a superhuman individual. We often look upon men like him to be some sort of divine beings, or immortals whom have transcended humanity. We tend to put great men and women in history on such a high pedestal that we often see their lifetime accomplishments as feats that are unattainable to the rest of humanity....things that we ourselves are not able to achieve. This is not necessarily the most efficient way of seeing things, however. While the accomplishments that men like Dr. King have made are eternally world changing, and deserve more than the highest praise, it is also important that we understand that Dr. Martin Luther King was a human being, like each and every one of us. I wanted to shed light on this fact so as not to tarnish Dr. King's legacy in any way, but instead to provide insight on Dr. King's humanity, so that we as a people can understand just how alike we all are to him. I feel that by understanding his humanity we can all bring ourselves closer to him than we ever thought possible. So here are 4 facts that you may not know about Dr. Martin Luther King:
1.) Dr. King almost didn't become a minister. Upon graduating college, Dr. King had real doubts regarding the Bible and Christianity and shared these doubts with his father whom was a baptist minister at the time. At the time he had spoken to his father about not becoming a minister and said that he was thinking of becoming a doctor or a lawyer instead. It wasn't until later that Martin Luther King had an epiphany had decided that the bible had many truths contained within it that one could not escape. He then decided to go into ministry where he attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. How much different would the world be had he had actually decided to become a lawyer?
2.) Dr. King skipped grades 9 & 11 in high school and entered college by age 15 in 1944. He also went on to earn his PhD at age 25.
3.) King actually received a C grade in public speaking class during in his first year at the seminary he attended. By his final year however, he was able to pick up his grades and earned straight A's as well as valedictorian of his class.
4.) Martin Luther King was a very stressed out man. He smoked cigarettes often but would take special care not to be photographed while smoking or seen smoking in public. He did this for many reasons including not wanting to publicly display his smoking habit because of the church and media of the time, as well as because he didn't want any of his children to pick up smoking as a habit as well. Dr. King was assassinated at the age of 39, but doctor autopsy revealed that he had the heart of a 60 year old man. This is primarily due to immense stress he faced during his lifetime.
I'll leave you with the only known recording of a rare speech that Dr. King gave at the Park-Sheraton Hotel in New York City son September 12th, 1962 to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. He touches on some great points about how short the Emancipation Proclamation actually fell in our society: