Barbados Heritage

Martin Luther King Jr. – Patriarch and Leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. in the 1960s

Today we at Discover Heritage Tours salute and celebrate the life and legacy of the great civil rights leader – Martin Luther King, Jr.  Today, January 15, 2024, would have been the 95th birthday of this great stalwart; this day in his honour falls this year on the actual date of his birth. He was and continues to be celebrated as a civil rights leader in the United States and across the world.  Following in the footsteps of his father and mother, he was active in that arena from about 1955 – 19608, when he was assassinated.  He gave his life to the cause in which he believed.  His commitment to the cause of civil rights for all people across the United States was born out of a providential mandate, a purpose, a call to service.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister, political philosopher, and activist.  He was named after his father, Martin Luther King, Sr. who was also a Baptist minister and an early figure in the civil rights movement.  His mother Alberta Christine Williams-King, as an organizer, was also active in the civil rights movement.  Therefore, it is easy to see from where King, Jr. established his roots.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. (1899 – 1984)
Alberta Christine Williams-King
(1904 – her assassination in 1974)

It is interesting to note that these men were named after Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer.  If we believe that naming is critical to patterns of destiny, then this is not a coincidence but destiny.

The original Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483, in Eisleben, Germany.  He was a German priest, theologian, author, hymn writer, professor, and Augustine friar.  Do you recognize any similarities to the life that Martin Luther King, Jr. would live hundreds of years later?    

Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)

According to Wikipedia, Martin Luther was the seminal figure during the Protestant Reformation.  A BBC article revealed that, “In 1510 he visited Rome on behalf of a number of Augustine monasteries and was appalled by the corruption he found within the church.  His disgust with the abuses and indulgences of the priests propelled his thinking and action related to the Catholic Church of the time.  He believed that “Christians are saved through faith and not through their own efforts.”  This belief structure would become the foundational structure of his life’s work.

Centuries later, Martin Luther King, Jr. would live a life that mirrored Martin Luther.  King, Jr. would pay the ultimate price for the service he gave to his country of birth and to the world – what a legacy and a life fulfilled!

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