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The group was created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct nonviolent protests in the service of civil rights reform. Vivian, Andrew Young, The Freedom Singers, Charles Evers, Cleveland Robinson, Randolph Blackwell, Annie Bell Robinson Devine, Charles Kenzie Steele, Alfred Daniel Williams King, Benjamin Hooks, Aaron Henry and Bayard Rustin.One of the group's inspirations was the crusades of evangelist Billy Graham, who befriended King after he attended a Graham crusade in New York City in 1957. King narrowly escaped death when Izola Curry, a mentally ill black woman who believed he was conspiring against her with communists, stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener.At the age of 15, King passed the exam and entered Morehouse.The summer before his last year at Morehouse, in 1947, the 18-year-old King chose to enter the ministry.He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president.With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama.He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.King became a civil rights activist early in his career.
Due to this, Morehouse was eager to fill its classrooms.For the Portuguese footballer known as Luther King, see Martin Simões.For other uses, see Martin Luther King (disambiguation) and MLK (disambiguation). (born Michael King Jr., January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement.During his junior year, he won first prize in an oratorical contest sponsored by the Negro Elks Club in Dublin, Georgia.Returning home to Atlanta by bus, he and his teacher were ordered by the driver to stand so that white passengers could sit down.