Q:

What inspired Martin Luther King Jr.?

A:

The main driving force behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s actions was his vision of racial equality as a moral right, explain Vera Chan and Max Zimbert of Yahoo News. During his speeches, King most frequently cited the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and quoted the words of Jesus Christ, along with famous authors such as Shakespeare and Thomas Jefferson.

Additional inspirations to Dr. King include Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, according to Nathan Raab of Forbes magazine. For example, King's insistence that his followers engage in peaceful protests was reminiscent of Gandhi's teachings. Thoreau is the author of "Civil Disobedience," which provides a framework for people to dissent respectfully against laws they don't agree with. This is a piece King referenced in his autobiography.

Many of King's motivational sources were written into his most popular speeches. He would often quote his favorite authors and recite biblical passages to illustrate his arguments. King's methods of incorporating international literature into his addresses prove that he saw his cause as reaching further than the African-American Civil Rights Movement. King believed that civil liberties and racial equality were applicable to all of humankind, as was evidenced in his quote of John Donne's statement, "No man is an island."


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    In what year did Martin Luther King Jr. die?

    A:

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. on April 4, 1968. King was assassinated by James Earl Ray and was hit by the sniper's bullet at 6:01 p.m. When King was shot, he was standing on the balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What were the major accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr.?

    A:

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was known for his civil rights accomplishments throughout his lifetime. The Baptist preacher was best known for his moving speeches, including the "I Have a Dream" speech he gave before an estimated 250,000 people gathered on the mall in Washington, D.C. in 1963. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was Martin Luther King, Jr. famous for?

    A:

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was famous for leading the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s in the United States. He advocated for African-Americans, women and veterans through non-violent means, including marches, sit-ins, public speeches and boycotts. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did Martin Luther King Jr do?

    A:

    Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent leader of the civil rights movement in the United States. During the late 1950s through the late 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. organized protests, proposed legislation and spoke about injustice throughout the United States. He was assassinated in 1968.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore