While at seminary King became acquainted with Mohandas Gandhi philosophy of nonviolent social protest. After a trip to India in 1959 where he entered into discussion with followers of Ghandi, he became more convinced than ever that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom.
As a pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama, King lead a Black bus boycott. King and several others were arrested and found guilty of obstruction of buisness. As the bus boycott dragged on, King was gained a national reputation. The ultimate success of the Montgomery bus boycott made King a national hero
Letter from Birmingham Jail inspired a growing national civil rights movement. In 1963 King led a massive march on Washington DC where he delivered his now famous, I Have A Dream speech. King's tactics of active nonviolence (sit-ins, protest marches) put civil-rights squarely on the national agenda
On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King at the age of thirty-nine was shot and killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee. At the time he was becoming more out spoken against the war in vietnam as well as focusing attention on a nationwide campaign to help the poor. Right up until his death he never wavered in his conviction that nonviolence must remain the central tactic of the civil-rights movement.
living water reprint from 2008