What causes did Martin Luther King support?

Nonviolent for a just world

Kings early commitment to equality

Martin Luther King jr. The painful experience of what racial segregation means: His best friend's parents ended their children's friendship when they started primary school because King was black. Accordingly, he campaigned for equality early on and began a career as a political speaker and advocate of human rights for blacks. The talented King began studying sociology at the age of 15 and was quickly fascinated by Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolent resistance. He followed Gandhi's teaching and made it the principle of his own struggle.

After graduating in sociology, he studied theology and then worked as a pastor. In the sermon he saw a double claim: “On the one hand, I have to try to change the soul of each individual so that society can change. On the other hand, I have to try to change society so that every single soul can change. ”In 1954 he started a job in Montgomery, Alabama, a difficult place for blacks. His struggle for the rights of black citizens soon reached a new level.

Those who accept evil without contradiction are in fact supporting it.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Unbending resistance, but non-violent

In late 1955, the black seamstress Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery for refusing to vacate her seat for a white man on the bus after working 14 hours. The blacks organized themselves, boycotted the bus company and voted King as the leader of the boycott movement. The nonviolent resistance lasted more than a year and was ultimately successful: in late 1956, the US Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation on public transport was unconstitutional.

The boycott made King and his nonviolent resistance so popular that he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. His commitment to equal rights for all people, regardless of skin color, was ultimately also supported by President John F. Kennedy and, after numerous protests and large-scale demonstrations across the country, led to a law that largely abolished racial segregation in 1964. In the same year, Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize. He continued his non-violent struggle for equal rights and better living conditions for four years until he was murdered in 1968.

God's presence as a drive

When white racists began threatening him and his family in Montgomery, Martin Luther King faced one of his greatest challenges. He once said, “I wanted to give up the fight. (...) At that moment I experienced the presence of God like never before. I felt as if I heard an inner voice that encouraged me: 'Stand up for justice! Stand up for the truth! And God will always be by your side! ‘I was ready to face everything."

Meaning for bread for the world

The life and actions of Martin Luther King are the inspiration for our daily work. The theologian and civil rights activist did not accept the injustices of his time, but fought against them non-violently. “In this belief we have always found a way where there seemed to be no way.” These words from King are the motto and drive for bread for the world. His successes for the equal rights of disadvantaged people prove that the advocacy for human rights and a better life does not need violence.