January 17, 2011

MLK-A Way from Home

Martin Luther King, a teenage kid nicknamed Tweed, went way north to Connecticut for the summer to earn money of $4 day for college working on a tobacco farm.

According to a researchers of students from Simsbury High School and a professor from Stanford University. King could have been a lawyer, a baseball player, but decided to be a civil rights movement leader after being nominated by Morehouse College students to be a minister.

His birthday is observed every Monday as a federal holiday, spent his time in the tobacco field outside of Hartford a suburb of Simsbury.

His son MLK III says according to Yahoo news,
Martin Luther King III, president and chief executive officer of The King Center, was to deliver the keynote address at the annual holiday observance, held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where his father preached from 1960 until his death in 1968.
He has linked the holiday honoring the winner of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner to the shootings in Tucson, Ariz., which left six dead and Giffords fighting for her life.
King would have been 82 on Jan. 15. Members of the King family also planned to lay a wreath at the tombs of Martin Luther King Jr. and his widow, Coretta Scott King.
King is the only American who was not a U.S. president to have a federal holiday named in his honor. He has been recognized on the third Monday in January since 1986.
He wrote a week earlier of going to the same church in Simsbury as white people. His new calling as a religious leader was emerging, too.
"I have to speak on some text every Sunday to 107 boys. We really have good meetings," he wrote.
William Duschaneck, an 88-year-old Simsbury resident interviewed by the students, said he played baseball with King in town. King was a strong pitcher, though the future preacher of nonviolence never drilled a batter, he said.
"He was a good ballplayer. He beat us a couple times," Duschanek told The Associated Press, laughing. "It was interesting to hear him talk. He had a nice voice. He talked about God and so forth."
King described the work on the tobacco farm as easy.
"I have a job in the kitchen so I get better food than any of the boys and more. I get as much as I want," he wrote to his mother.

Changed his life. Who knew that he would become great after having high level of resentment towards segregation.

"It's clear that this little town, it made a huge impact on his life," said John Conard-Malley, a Simsbury High School senior who did a documentary with other students on King's experiences in Connecticut. "It's possibly the biggest thing, one of the most important things, people don't know about Martin Luther King's life."
Until then, King was thinking of other professions such as becoming a lawyer, Conard-Malley said. But after his fellow Morehouse College students at the tobacco farm elected him their religious leader, he decided to become a minister.
In his later application to Crozer Theological Seminary King wrote that he made the decision that summer "when I felt an inescapable urge to serve society. In short, I felt a sense of responsibility which I could not escape."
"Perhaps if he hadn't come to Connecticut, hadn't picked tobacco up here, hadn't felt like a free person, hadn't felt what life was like without segregation and been elected the religious minister, he may not have become such a leader in the civil rights movement," Conard-Malley said.
Nicole Byer, a junior at Simsbury High School who narrates the documentary, noted that King was roughly the same age as the students who produced the documentary. Such early experiences can have a profound influence on young people, she said.
Source By: Jacquelyn Martin


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