What Did Martin Luther King, Jr., Learn from His Parents?

This image shows Martin Luther King, Jr., with his family. As a child, King learned many valuable lessons from his parents, Martin Luther King, Sr., and Alberta Williams King.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was an important Civil Rights leader. Before that, he was a child. He grew up Atlanta, Georgia. He experienced racial segregation [laws that kept Black people and White people separate]. He also learned many important lessons from his parents.

His mother, Alberta Williams King, explained segregation to him. She told him that he should feel a sense of “somebodiness.” Even so, he had to face rules that made him feel “less than.” She taught him that the rules that made separate restaurants, bathrooms, water fountains, and schools for African American children were not natural. They were part of a system that was unfair. She let her son know that he was as good as anyone.

Martin Luther King, Sr., was a priest who worked for Civil Rights. He fought to get Black school teachers equal pay to White school teachers. As a child, Martin Luther King, Jr. saw him stand up against racism in his daily life. As a small child, King went shopping for shoes with his father. When the salesman told them they had to move to the rear of the store. Instead, King, Sr., took his son by the hand and they walked out of the store.

As King grew up, he would use the lessons his parents taught them. He would lead a movement that would change some of the unfair laws he experienced.

What Do You Think? What are lessons you learn from your family? How would you like to show others?

Photo Credit: JT Vintage/Glasshouse Images/Alamy Stock Photo