Article - How Martin Luther King’s First Degree Made a Difference:

One of the best known names in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement is undoubtedly Martin Luther King, Jr. He paved the way toward equal rights for African-Americans at the height of the movement in the 1950s. But it was his Letters from Birmingham and his iconic speech “I Have a Dream” that created ripples across the world and changed human consciousness forever. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to civil rights. Martin Luther King, Jr. is still regarded as one of the greatest orators that the United States has ever witnessed.


Martin Luther King, Jr’s Schooling

Martin Luther King, Jr was highly educated. He was an exceptionally bright student and skipped the ninth as well as the 12th grade. When he was just 15 years old, he sought admission at the Morehouse College, which had a program for brilliant high school students. This was in 1944 and thus began his quest to gain his first college diploma.


While pursuing his higher education, King realized that his reading level was equivalent to an eighth grade student. Instead of getting upset, he worked hard and managed to graduate from college in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. At this point, King decided to change his vocation. He initially wanted to become a doctor or a lawyer, instead decided he wanted to become a minister.


The Path to Non-Violence

After attaining his bachelor’s degree, Martin Luther King, Jr joined the Crozer Theological Seminary located in Chester, Pennsylvania. During this study, he came across the teachings of Gandhi and his non-violent methods to free India from colonial rule. He was extremely influenced by Gandhi’s teachings and would use it during his struggle for civil rights. However, he went on to pursue a doctorate degree, which officially conferred the “Doctor” title, making him Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Thanks to his high school diploma and college degree, King received more opportunities than most people for whom he fought for during the Civil Rights Movement. While King was not considered an equal at that time in the American society, he still managed to get a lot of education and that too in some of the best institutions in the United States.


Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated in 1968, but he left a mark not just on the American society, but also across the world. He owes a lot of his success to his education. There is a lesson to be learned by every student – the more educated you are, the more seriously others will take you. With his first college degree, many avenues opened up for Martin Luther King, Jr, some of which would not have been there if he did not have a sound education to back him.

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