In history, we talk about Martin Luther King Jr. all the time, but other than Coretta Scott King, we really don’t get to hear much about anyone else in the King family during that time. Many came to know that MLK’s mother, Alberta Christine Williams King, was also assassinated a few years after his death at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, but what happened to his dad? Martin Luther King Sr. literally lived on and passed away November 11, 1984, at age 84 from a Heart Attack. People really don’t realize, but Martin Luther King Sr. continued with the civil rights movement, just as he was the actual person who help Martin Luther King Jr. to want to devote himself to the church and go down that path as well.
I grew up in Rex, GA which is about 15 mins from the city of Atlanta. Probably 5 minutes from the home where I grew up in, is the birth area of Martin Luther King Sr. Just about two weeks ago I found out that the area he was born and raised was in downtown Stockbridge, GA. From where he went to school, to where he gave his first sermon at 15 and the path he walked to go to work at the Rock Quarry, which is still to this day off Rock Quarry Rd.
Due to history not speaking much about MLK Sr. I honestly though he may have passed away early in MLK Jr.’s life, only to find out he helped the civil rights to move even after MLK Jr.’s death. At a young age, Daddy King was helping to break segregated barriers in small town Stockbridge. From delivering his first sermon there at 15, Daddy King was already gaining attention as a leader. After the passing of Pastor Williams of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Daddy King came the pastor there for four decades.
His sermons could be heard on WAEC, a religious radio station in Atlanta. From this, Daddy King gain much respect from the white community which actually help the city to thrive due to breaking racial barriers in the south. Later in his journey, he became a local leader of the Civil Rights Movement, serving on the executive committee of the NAACP chapter in Atlanta and the Civic and Political League as an officer, in which he encouraged his son to become active in the movement.
Later on he rose to become the head of the NAACP in Atlanta and the Civic and Political League. In his position he fought for equal teachers’ salaries in Atlanta. He also played an instrumental role in ending Jim Crow laws in the state.
One of the craziest historic facts about MLK Sr. I found interesting though was that in 1969, King was one of several members of the Morehouse College board of trustees held hostage on the campus by a group of students demanding reform in the school’s curriculum and governance. One of the students was Samuel L. Jackson, who was suspended for his actions. Jackson subsequently became an actor and Academy Award nominee.
Also even though he was a Republican all of his life, King played a notable role in the nomination of Jimmy Carter as the Democratic candidate for president in the 1976 election. In which, he is one of the main reason why one of America’s Most respected presidents won.
To get to know more about Martin Luther King Sr. read his autobiography Daddy King: An Autobiography.