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Martin Luther King Research Paper Thesis Statement

What defines an excellent leader? Is Leadership someone that can think creatively or can solve problems? Is a leader someone that knows what it takes to be a leader and to lead a group, or is it someone that sets goals for themselves and/or for the group. You could ponder these questions for a very long time but there is no true definition for leader or leadership. But you can look at people and decide if they are a good leader, by what outcomes they arrive at, the way they inspire people, and the qualities that they poses. All of these aspects are in one of the greatest leaders of all times and that would be, Dr. Martin Luther KingJr. This man is one to be admired and sought to be like.

Martin Luther King also known as MLK was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in the year of 1929. He was brought up in a religious home, his father was a pastor. Martin followed in his dad’s footsteps and was ordained and became a minister of a Baptist church in the city Montgomery, Alabama. Montgomery was a place of great racism in the South. Dr. King saw this racism and felt something needed to be done. As for him being the newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). He felt he needed to do something, so in 1955, December 1, when Rosa Parks didn’t give up her seat on the bus for a white passenger and was arrested. Martin made the decision to organize a boycott against the bus transportation . This is were the great leadership that Martin Luther King Jr. started.

The leadership that King shows is, not to be afraid of anything, to stand up for your people/group, to stand up for the right of your people/group, and lastly to fight with nonviolence for your people. King took action against segregation from that day, to his death. By taking action I mean that he formed many organizations one of which was Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which allowed him to pursue other civil rights activities. This grew to be nationwide and allowed Martin L. King to help his people through his leadership skills.

Martin set goals for himself and for his people. The goals he set for himself was that ” I will not rest until all black men, women, children are free of segregation”. Which meant he would not rest until all his people were free and would do anything to help them have there freedom. The goals he set for his people were of independence, desegregation, and to have their freedom. By setting these goals it shows that King is a great leader. I feel you have to set goals to accomplish your task. By him setting these goals everyone is on the same track, and the people are looking to achieve the same goals and dreams. Which he showed his dreams when he gave the speech at Washington “The I Have a Dream” speech.

Martin Luther King shows great leadership by his demonstrations of non-violence acts all of his organizations all the speeches he gave and all the letters he wrote. Through this it shows he is a man of intelligence, determination, also integrity.

I say intelligence because in his demonstrations, if he would of fought back he and many others would have been killed or seriously injured and it would be his fault and he would of let his people down. So by using his brain he was able to show that the use of violence would result in violence. Not the fact that the demonstration was about the Civil Rights and the desegregation of Blacks. He also showed his intelligence by the letters and the speeches he wrote. The one that was the most inspirational was the “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech touched so many people. It changed the way many people thought about blacks. With the words of Martin Luther King he helped to get desegregation in the Southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Carolina, Georgia etc just throw his leadership skills and his motivational words that ring till this day.

King showed his determination through getting thrown in jail, being hit with sticks, fists, and being called a “Niger”. All of which hurt him but he would not let that stop him from getting his people free. He did not want to show he was scared of the white community he wanted to show his people no fear. So he faced these obstacles head on and didn’t back down. He showed his dedication and determination to achieve his goals and the goals of his people and to show no fear, and to make his people feel no fear in the whit community. By this Blacks became unafraid of white and helped them get there desegregation.

Martin showed his integrity by taking responsibility for his actions, shown by him going to jail and by him being beat up or even killed. This man inspires confidence in others because he can be trusted to do what he says he will do. King says he will fight until freedom rings that means that he will fight till freedom rings, in which he did. He showed the most integrity when he was killed. He showed that he would give is life to have desegregation and to have his people have their freedom from all whites.

Martin Luther King showed different types of leadership through his preaching, his “I Have a Dream” speech, boycotts, his marches, and his death. All of these demonstrations show that he is the greatest leader of all time. He changed America, he changed segregation, he changed the way people think of people. All of his great qualities came in handy for him to be this great leader. To be remembered as a great man and leader ever to live and die doing what he believed in, and what he thought was right.

King was a great leader. He is a man that will never be forgotten. This is because of all the good things that he has done for America and and the Black population. Know one will ever for get this man because of his hard work, determination, loyalty to his people, is loyalty to his work, the trust people shared in him, How intelligent he was to make the right decision on his movements and speeches. Martin Luther King is a very inspiring individual, a man that will show you what is right and how it is going to be when all is over. He is the kind of man that will show you his dreams, and show you how he is feeling. But When it comes down to everything he is on top. He hits every aspect of a not good but great leader. Your forever Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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During his third year of doctoral work at Boston University, Martin Luther King wrote Crozer Theological Seminary’s George Davis, his former advisor, about his progress in graduate school. He disclosed that he had begun to research his dissertation and that the late Edgar Brightman, his first mentor at Boston, and his current dissertation advisor, L. Harold DeWolf, were both ‘‘quite impressed’’ with his course work. ‘‘So far, my Dissertation title is: ‘A comparison of the conception of God in the thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.’ I am finding the study quite fascinating. If there are no basic interruptions, I hope to complete it by the end of the coming summer’’ (Papers 2:224). Davis commended King on selecting ‘‘an excellent dissertation topic’’ and expressed his confidence that King would ‘‘do a good piece of work with it’’ (Papers 2:225).

King passed his final doctoral examination in February 1954, and his dissertation outline was approved by Boston University’s graduate school on 9 April, shortly before he accepted the call to pastor Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. King’s letter of acceptance to Dexter’s congregation specified that he be ‘‘granted an allowance of time to complete my work at Boston University,’’ though he would be ‘‘able to fill the pulpit at least once or twice per month.’’ He also asked that the church cover his expenses during the completion of his dissertation, ‘‘including traveling expenses’’ (Papers 2:260).

King chose to focus his dissertation research on Tillich and Wieman due to their status as influential religious thinkers and as representatives of divergent views on the nature of God. King’s comparison of Tillich’s and Wieman’s concepts of God reflected his adherence to personalism, which proceeds from the belief that God possesses a personality and can therefore have a relationship with human beings. King’s analysis of Tillich’s and Wieman’s theological concepts as ‘‘unsatisfactory’’ and ‘‘inadequate  a philosophical and religious world-views’’ followed from his belief that God was a living force, ‘‘responsive to the deepest yearnings of the human heart; this God both evokes and answers prayer’’ (Papers 2:532; 533; 512). He found that both Wieman and Tillich rejected the conception of a personal God, which resulted in ‘‘a rejection of the rationality, goodness, and love of God in the full sense of the words. An impersonal ‘being-itself’ or ‘creative event’ cannot be rational or good, for these attributes are of personality’’ (Papers 2:506). In the end, King pointed out the two theologians’ views of God are not ‘‘basically sound’’ because they ‘‘render real religious experience impossible’’ (Papers 2:532).

Recent scholarship by the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project of the King Institute has revealed that as a student at Crozer and Boston, King frequently appropriated the words of other writers without proper attribution. Volumes I and II of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. have demonstrated that while his bibliographies contained the authors and books that he drew on in his own compositions, his papers often lacked the footnotes and quotation marks that identified his use of these sources in his text. His habit of plagiarizing others’ work, intentionally or not, can be found in the various drafts of his dissertation. King borrowed from several secondary sources without proper citation, including a dissertation written by fellow Crozer student Jack Boozer for DeWolf three years earlier, and a review of Tillich’s Systematic Theology written by one of King’s former professors.

King’s professors did not detect this pattern in his scholarship. After King submitted the first draft of his dissertation, DeWolf filed a report observing that he had sent his specific criticisms, ‘‘most of them formal or minor,’’ to the candidate. DeWolf reminded King to submit an abstract of the dissertation ‘‘early’’ to allow proper time for revision and to clearly set forth his thesis statement (Papers 2:333). That said, DeWolf projected that the finished version would be an ‘‘excellent and useful scholarly achievement’’ (Papers 2:334). S. Paul Schilling, the dissertation’s second reader, approved the draft as well.

King turned in the final version of his dissertation by the 15 April 1955 deadline, returning to Boston for his oral defense. Graduate faculty at Boston University voted to confer the PhD on King in May 1955; however, due to financial difficulties and Coretta Scott King’s pregnancy, he was unable to attend graduation.

Sources

Carson et al., ‘‘Martin Luther King, Jr., as Scholar: A Reexamination of His Theological Writings,’’ Journal of American History 78 (June 1991): 93–105.

Davis to King, 7 December 1953, in Papers2:225–226.

DeWolf, First Reader’s Report, 26 February 1955, in Papers2:333–334.

Introduction, in Papers1:49–50.

Introduction, in Papers2:22–26.

King, ‘‘A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman,’’ 15 April 1955, in Papers2:339–544.

King to Davis, 1 December 1953, in Papers2:223–224.

King to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, 14 April 1954, in Papers2:260.

King Papers Project, ‘‘The Student Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Summary Statement on Research,’’ Journal of American History 78 (June 1991): 23–31.

Schilling, Second Reader’s Report, 26 February 1955, in Papers2:334–335.