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Martin Luther King Jr., Part 2

所属教程:People in America 更新:01-26
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Anncr:

PEOPLE IN AMERICA, a program in Special English on the Voice ofAmerica.

(Theme)

Today, Shep O'Neal and Warren Scheer finish the story of civilrights leader Martin Luther King Junior.

(Theme)

VOICE 1:

Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in nineteentwenty-nine. He began his university studies when he was fifteenyears old, and received a doctorate degree in religion. He became apreacher at a church in Montgomery, Alabama.

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In nineteen-fifty-five, a blackwoman in Montgomery was arrested for sitting in the white part of acity bus. Doctor king became the leader of a protest against thecity bus system. It was the first time that black Southerners hadunited against the laws of racial separation.

VOICE 2:

At first, the white citizens of Montgomery did not believe thatthe protest would work. They thought most blacks would be afraid tofight against racial separation. But the buses remained empty.

Some whites used tricks to try to end the protest.

They spread false stories about Martin Luther King and otherprotest leaders. One story accused Martin of stealing money from thecivil rights movement. Another story charged that protest leadersrode in cars while other protesters had to walk. But the tricks didnot work, and the protest continued.

VOICE 1:

Doctor King's wife, Coretta, described how she and her husbandfelt during the protest. She said:

"We never knew what was going to happen next. We felt like actorsin a play whose ending we did not know. Yet we felt a part ofhistory. And we believed we were instruments of the will of God..

The white citizens blamed Doctor King for starting the protest.They thought it would end if he was in prison or dead. Doctor Kingwas arrested twice on false charges. His arrests made national newsand he was released. But the threats against his life continued.

VOICE 2:

The Montgomery bus boycott lasted three hundred-eighty-two days.Finally, the United States Supreme Court ruled that racialseparation was illegal in the Montgomery bus system. Martin LutherKing and his followers had won their struggle. The many months ofmeetings and protest marches had made victory possible.

They also gave blacks a new feeling of pride and unity. They sawthat peaceful protest, Mahatma Gandhi's idea of non-violence, couldbe used as a tool to win their legal rights.

VOICE 1:

Life did not return to normal for Doctor King after the protestwas over. He had become well-known all over the country andthroughout the world. He often was asked to speak about his ideas onnon-violence. Both black and white Americans soon began to followhis teachings. Groups were formed throughout the south to protestpeacefully against racial separation.

FromAlabama ...
FromAlabama ...

The civil rights movement spreadso fast that a group of black churchmen formed an organization toguide it. The organization was called the Southern ChristianLeadership Conference. Martin Luther King became its president.

... toNew York State.
... toNew York State.

In his job, Doctor King helpedorganize many protests in the southern part of the United States.Blacks demanded to be served in areas where only whites werepermitted to eat. And they rode in trains and buses formerly forwhites only. These protests became known as "freedom rides." Many ofthe freedom rides turned violent. Black activists were beaten andarrested. Some were even killed.

VOICE 2:

In nineteen-sixty-three, the black citizens of Birmingham refusedto buy goods from the stores in the city. They demanded more jobsfor blacks. And they demanded to send their children to whiteschools. The white citizens were angry and afraid, but they refusedto meet the blacks' demands. The situation became tense. Manyprotestors were beaten and arrested. Even Doctor King was arrested.But he was not in prison for long.

The Birmingham demonstrations made international news. Whitessoon saw that it was easier to meet the demands of the protestorsthan to fight them. Martin Luther King and his followers had won animportant victory in Birmingham. It marked a turning point for thecivil rights movement.

Martin Luther King recognized the importance of Birmingham. Itdid not mean that racial separation had ended. Some still remainstoday. But he felt that the battle was almost won. And he wanted tocall on the nation for its support. So Doctor King organized a Marchon Washington, D.C.

The March on Washington took place in August, nineteensixty-three. About two-hundred-fifty-thousand persons gatheredthere. They came to demand more jobs and freedom for blackAmericans. There were to be many other marches in Washington duringthe nineteen sixties and early seventies. But this was the biggestup to that time.

VOICE 1:

It was in Washington that Martin Luther King gave one of his mostfamous speeches. The speech is known as the "I Have a Dream Speech."It expressed his ideas for the future. Doctor King said:

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Graphic Image

((TAPE: "I have a dream"))

VOICE 2:

Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize in nineteensixty-four. But he did not live to see the final results of hislife's work. He was shot to death in Memphis, Tennessee, in nineteensixty-eight.

Doctor King always felt he would die a violent death. His lifehad been threatened wherever he went. And he often spoke to his wifeabout his fears. But he never believed that his life was moreimportant than the civil rights movement. The night before he diedhe spoke to his supporters. He said:

((Speech to supporters))

((MUSIC: We Shall Overcome))

(Theme)

Anncr:

You have been listening to the story of civil rights leaderMartin Luther King Junior. This Special English program was writtenby William Rodgers. Your narrators were Shep O'Neal and WarrenScheer. I'm Doug Johnson. Listen again next week at this time foranother People in America program on the Voice of America.

(Theme)

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