71. Reading Skills Comprehension: Martin Luther King

By | July 1, 2020

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Martin Luther King

Read the following passage carefully and answer the following Questions:-                                                                                          

Martin Luther King, one of the greatest men ever to walk on this earth, started the defence force with which the American Blacks got their rights and gained freedom from the distressing racial discrimination.

Martin was born on January 15, 1929. His family lived on the outskirts of Atlanta. The fact that he could not play with White children, or that he had to offer a seat in the bus to a White, disturbed him. When he was eight years old, his father a Baptist pastor, told the family a sad story: Bessie Smith, a great singer, met with an accident. An ambulance rushed her to the nearest hospital, but she was not admitted because she was a ‘Black’. The ambulance took her from one hospital to another, but she could not find a place for herself because these hospitals were only for the Whites. She died for want of blood. From that day, Martin Luther King dreamt of becoming a liberator of the Blacks.

King completed his studies at More House College, and then earned a doctor’s degree in theology at Boston University. In 1955, King married Alabama Soprano, Coretta Scott. That very year he became a pastor and preached his first sermon in the Baptist Church of Atlanta. As a young man, he was greatly impressed by Mahatma Gandhi’s success in the political field and the power of ahimsa. King decided to follow the path of non-violence and get millions of Blacks their due. He felt that the Blacks had immensely contributed towards the building of America, and there was no reason why they should not be treated with respect.

King drew national attention in 1956. Since the Blacks were not permitted to sit in the same buses as the Whites, he led a boycott of public buses in Montgomery. A year later, after many arrests and threats, the US Supreme Court gave a ruling that racial segregation of public transport was unlawful. This victory taught Blacks the power of non-violence. After 1957, King began visiting various places to deliver lectures. Soon he became a powerful orator, drawing the attention of people the world over.

King continued the fight, a peaceful fight, demanding the rights of the Blacks. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1967, King led many peaceful demonstrations against the Vietnam War and in 1968 he declared a Poor People’s Campaign. On April 4, of that every year, while planning a demonstration of striking sanitation workers, he was shot dead by an assassin.

So, it was really a sad end of one of the greatest votaries of non-violence in recent times. Martin Luther died for a cause—for the rights of millions of American Blacks. His sacrifice didn’t go in vain. The American Blacks ultimately got their genuine rights and gained freedom from the hateful racial discrimination.

Answer the following questions briefly:

(i)Why is Martin Luther King one of the greatest men that America has produced?

 (ii) Name two things that disturbed King when he was still a child.

 (iii) Why was Bessie Smith not admitted in any hospital?

 (iv) Why did King lead a boycott of public buses in Montgomery in 1956?

(v) In which year was King awarded with Nobel Peace Prize?

 (vi) When was King shot dead?

 (vii) Why did Martin Luther King sacrifice his life?

 (viii) Did King’s sacrifice go in vain? Why/why not?

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