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Journalist Peter Goldman

Thus, at the age when he started school and began developing a significant life outside his home, he experienced a name change which contributed in a significant way to his sense of personal identity. For the rest of his life, his own name would remind himself and everyone else of a Christian protest leader of huge proportions. As a youth, he demonstrated a somewhat exaggerated sense of personal moral responsibility and willingness to test God's will (Baldwin, 1991, p. 34).

Martin Luther King's introduction to racial injustice was not particularly violent, but it was disturbing. When he was nine, his best friend and playmate was a white boy who lived nearby; the boy's parents eventually refused to let their son continue the friendship. His parents were respected by white and black Atlantans alike. They refused to surrender to segregation, but did not retaliate with hatred. They rose above their oppressors by showing love for all while firmly maintaining their own personal integrity and demonstrating that integrity as an example for their children (Baldwin, 1991, p. 37).

Malcolm Little was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925. His father supported his family as a laborer and itinerant preacher. He was a follower of Marcus Garvey, the AfricanAmerican leader who preached separatism and a backtoAfrica philosophy. Because his father preached Garveyism and separatism, the Ku Klux Klan made life very hard for the family. In Omaha, the Klan set fire to their house; the white fire department let it burn down before putting out the flames. After they moved to Lansing, Michigan, his father was murdered and dumped on the trolley tracks, where a trolley cut his body in two. After his father's murder, his mother was soon institutionalized. At 15, one of his favorite teachers asked him one day what he wanted to be when he grew up; he responded he was considering being a lawyer. Though he thought he was being helpful and realistic, the teacher...

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Journalist Peter Goldman. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:25, September 20, 2017, from
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