"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.".
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a preacher and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world. King was one of the twentieth century's most influential man and lived one of its most extraordinary lives. .
One of the most visible advocates of nonviolence and a direct action as methods of social change, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929. As the grandson of the Reverend A.D. Williams, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church and a founder of Atlanta's NAACP chapter, and the son of Martin Luther King, Sr., who succeeded Williams as Ebenezer's pastor, King's roots were in the African-American Baptist church. After attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, King went on to study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and Boston University, where he deepened his understanding of theological scholarship and explored Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolent strategy for social change. King married Coretta Scott in 1953, and the following year he accepted the pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King received his Ph.D. in systematic theology in 1955. .
In 1950 King traveled to Philadelphia to hear a talk given by Dr. Mordecai Johnson, the then President of Howard University. Dr. Johnson had just returned from a trip to India and spoke of the life and teachings of the Indian nationalist Mohandas K. Gandhi. King was so inspired by what he heard that he bought a half-dozen books on Gandhi's life and works. His skepticism concerning the power of love and nonviolence diminished, as did his disbelief in the potential of this philosophy to affect social relations. King explained in "Stride Toward Freedom":.
Prior to reading Gandhi, I had about concluded that the ethics of Jesus were only effective in individual relationships.