美國100位歷史名人榜(8)：Martin Luther King馬丁·路德·金
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two Christian churches. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history.
In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and the Vietnam War, both from a religious perspective. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986.
Populist tradition and Black populismHarry C. Boyte, a self-proclaimed populist, field secretary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and white civil rights activist describes an episode in his life that gives insight on some of King's influences:
My first encounter with deeper meanings of populism came when I was nineteen, working as a field secretary for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in St. Augustine, Florida in 1964. One day I was caught by five men and a woman who were members of the Ku Klux Klan. They accused me of being a "communist and a Yankee." I replied, "I'm no Yankee – my family has been in the South since before the Revolution. And I'm not a communist. I'm a populist. I believe that blacks and poor whites should join to do something about the big shots who keep us divided." For a few minutes we talked about what such a movement might look like. Then they let me go.
When he learned of the incident, Martin Luther King, head of SCLC, told me that he identified with the populist tradition and assigned me to organize poor whites.
ThurmanCivil rights leader, theologian, and educator Howard Thurman was an early influence on King. A classmate of King's father at Morehouse College, Thurman mentored the young King and his friends. Thurman's missionary work had taken him abroad where he had met and conferred with Mahatma Gandhi. When he was a student at Boston University, King often visited Thurman, who was the dean of Marsh Chapel. Walter Fluker, who has studied Thurman's writings, has stated, "I don't believe you'd get a Martin Luther King, Jr. without a Howard Thurman".
Gandhi and RustinInspired by Gandhi's success with non-violent activism, King visited Gandhi's birthplace in India in 1959, with assistance from the Quaker group the American Friends Service Committee. The trip to India affected King in a profound way, deepening his understanding of non-violent resistance and his commitment to America's struggle for civil rights. In a radio address made during his final evening in India, King reflected, "Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity. In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation." African American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who had studied Gandhi's teachings, counseled King to dedicate himself to the principles of non-violence, served as King's main advisor and mentor throughout his early activism, and was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.Rustin's open homosexuality, support of democratic socialism, and his former ties to the Communist Party USA caused many white and African-American leaders to demand King distance himself from Rustin.
Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955In March 1955, a fifteen-year-old school girl, Claudette Colvin, refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in compliance with the Jim Crow laws. King was on the committee from the Birmingham African-American community that looked into the case; Edgar Nixon and Clifford Durr decided to wait for a better case to pursue. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, urged and planned by Nixon and led by King, soon followed.The boycott lasted for 385 days, and the situation became so tense that King's house was bombed. King was arrested during this campaign, which ended with a United States District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle that ended racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses.
March on Washington, 1963King, representing SCLC, was among the leaders of the so-called "Big Six" civil rights organizations who were instrumental in the organization of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place on August 28, 1963. The other leaders and organizations comprising the Big Six were: Roy Wilkins from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Whitney Young, National Urban League; A. Philip Randolph, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; John Lewis, SNCC; and James L. Farmer, Jr. of the Congress of Racial Equality. The primary logistical and strategic organizer was King's colleague Bayard Rustin. For King, this role was another which courted controversy, since he was one of the key figures who acceded to the wishes of President John F. Kennedy in changing the focus of the march. Kennedy initially opposed the march outright, because he was concerned it would negatively impact the drive for passage of civil rights legislation, but the organizers were firm that the march would proceed.
The march originally was conceived as an event to dramatize the desperate condition of blacks in the southern United States and a very public opportunity to place organizers' concerns and grievances squarely before the seat of power in the nation's capital. Organizers intended to excoriate and then challenge the federal government for its failure to safeguard the civil rights and physical safety of civil rights workers and blacks, generally, in the South. However, the group acquiesced to presidential pressure and influence, and the event ultimately took on a far less strident tone. As a result, some civil rights activists felt it presented an inaccurate, sanitized pageant of racial harmony; Malcolm X called it the "Farce on Washington," and members of the Nation of Islam were not permitted to attend the march.
The march did, however, make specific demands: an end to racial segregation in public school; meaningful civil rights legislation, including a law prohibiting racial discrimination in employment; protection of civil rights workers from police brutality; a $2 minimum wage for all workers; and self-government for Washington, D.C., then governed by congressional committee. Despite tensions, the march was a resounding success. More than a quarter million people of diverse ethnicities attended the event, sprawling from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial onto the National Mall and around the reflecting pool. At the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington's history. King's "I Have a Dream" speech electrified the crowd. It is regarded, along with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Franklin D. Roosevelt's Infamy Speech, as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory.
AssassinationOn March 29, 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee in support of the black sanitary public works employees, represented by AFSCME Local 1733, who had been on strike since March 12 for higher wages and better treatment. In one incident, black street repairmen received pay for two hours when they were sent home because of bad weather, but white employees were paid for the full day.
Martin Luther King, Jr. DayAt the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. Observed for the first time on January 20, 1986, it is called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Following President George H. W. Bush's 1992 proclamation, the holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year, near the time of King's birthday. On January 17, 2000, for the first time, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was officially observed in all fifty U.S. states.
個人簡介馬丁·路德·金(Dr.Martin Luther King)，將“非暴力”（nonviolence）和“直接行動”（direct action）作為社會變革方法的最為突出的宣導者之一。1929 年1月15日，馬丁·路德·金在亞特蘭大（Atlanta）出生。他是牧師亞當·丹尼爾·威廉姆斯（Rev. A.D. Williams）的外孫，威廉姆斯是埃比尼澤浸信會（Ebenezer Baptist Church）的牧師和全國有色人種協進會（NAACP）亞特蘭大分會的發起人；他是老馬丁·路德·金（Martin Luther King, Sr.）的兒子，老馬丁·路德·金繼承父親威廉姆斯成了埃比尼澤的牧師。金的家族發源於非洲裔美國人的浸信會。在結束亞特蘭大莫爾浩司學院（Morehouse College）的學業後，金又在賓夕法尼亞州（Pennsylvania）的克勞澤神學院（Crozer Theological Seminary）和波士頓（Boston University）大學就讀，在學習中，他加深了對神學的認識並探究聖雄甘地（Mahatma Gandhi）在社會改革方面的非暴力策略。 1953年，金和柯瑞塔·斯科特（Coretta Scott）結婚。第二年，他在阿拉巴馬州（Alabama）蒙哥馬利（Montgomery）的德克斯特大街浸信會（Dexter Avenue Baptist Church）當了一名牧師。1955年，他獲得了系統神學的博士學位。1955年12月5日，民權積極分子羅莎·帕克斯（Rosa Parks）拒絕遵從蒙哥馬利公車上的種族隔離政策，在此之後，黑人居民發起了對公共汽車抵制運動（bus boycott）並選舉金作他們新形式下蒙格馬利權利促進協會（Montgomery Improvement Association）的領頭人。公共汽車抵制運動在 1956 年持續一年，金因其領導地位而名聲大噪。 1956 年12 月，美國最高法院宣佈阿拉巴馬州的種族隔離法律違反憲法，蒙哥馬利市公車上的種族隔離規定也被廢除。為了尋求蒙哥馬利勝利後的進一步發展，金和其他的南部黑人領袖于 1957 年建立了南方基督教領袖會議（Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SCLC）。1959年，金到印度遊歷並進一步發展了甘地的非暴力策略。那年年底，金辭去了德克斯特的職務並返回亞特蘭大，和他的父親共同成為一名埃比尼澤浸信會牧師。
1960 年，黑人大學生們揭起了入座抗議（sit-in protests）的浪潮，這促進了學生非暴力協調委員會（Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC）的形成。金支持學生運動，並對創建南方基督教領袖會議的青年分部表現出興趣。學生激進分子很欽慕金，但他們不滿於金自上而下的領導作風，進而決定取得自治。作為學生非暴力協調委員會的顧問，曾經擔任過南方基督教領袖會議副主管的艾拉·貝克（ Ella Baker ）向其他民權組織代表闡明，學生非暴力協調委員會將仍是一個學生領導的組織。1961年“自由乘車運動”（Freedom Rides）中，金由於拒絕參加活動而受到批評，加劇了他同青年激進分子的緊張關係。南方基督教領袖會議和學生非暴力協調委員會之間的矛盾在1961年和1962年的奧爾巴尼運動（Albany Movement）中繼續著。
1963 年春天，金和南方基督教領袖會議領導人在阿拉巴馬州的伯明罕（Birmingham）領導了群眾示威。此地以白人警方強烈反對種族融合而著稱。徒手的黑人示威者與裝備著警犬和消防水槍的員警之間的衝突，作為報紙頭條新聞遍及世界各地。總統甘迺迪（President Kennedy）對伯明罕的抗議做出了回應，他向國會提出放寬民權立法的要求，這促成了 1964 年民權法案（Civil Rights Act of 1964）的通過。稍後，在 1963年8月28日，群眾示威行動在“華盛頓工作與自由遊行”（March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom）的運動過程中達到高潮，此次示威運動中有超過二十五萬的抗議者聚集在華盛頓特區。在林肯紀念館的臺階上，金發表了“我有一個夢想”（I Have a Dream）的著名演講。
金的聲望隨著1963 年成為時代週刊（Time magazine）的年度人物和 1964 年獲得諾貝爾和平獎（Nobel Peace Prize）而持續上升。然而，除了名氣和讚美，運動內部領導層也出現了矛盾。瑪律科姆·愛克斯（Malcolm X）的正當防衛和黑人民族主義理念引起了北方的共鳴，城市黑人的作用力超過了金為非暴力所作的號召。同時，金還要面對“黑力”運動（Black Power）發起人斯托克利·卡邁克爾（Stokely Carmichael）的公開批評。 不僅金的努力效果受到黑人領導層狀況的干擾，而且他也遭受到來自國家行政領導人日漸增強的阻撓。1967年城市種族間暴力升級，美國聯邦調查局（FBI）主管愛德格·胡佛（J. Edgar Hoover）則趁機加強了破壞金領導力的全面努力。加之金對美國介入越南戰爭的公開批評，使得他與林德·詹森（Lyndon Johnson）政府關係緊張。
1967年年底，金髮起了意在對抗經濟問題的窮人運動（Poor People's Campaign），這項活動並沒有得到早期民權革新運動者的支持。其後一年，在支持孟菲斯（Memphis）清潔工人的罷工中，他發表了最後演講“我已到達頂峰”（I've Been to the Mountaintop）。第二天，1968年4月4日，金被刺殺。