Martin Luther King, Jr.


Have you heard of Martin Luther King, Jr.?  Every year on the third Monday of January, we have a holiday.  It’s called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was a famous man.  Learn more about him.



races/ racial– groups of people based on looks (skin color) and background, for example- white people, Asian people, black people, etc.

to segregate/ segregation– dividing into groups, usually talking about race, for example- black people and white people didn’t go to the same schools and lived in different neighborhoods

minister– leader of a church

rights– freedoms, what you are allowed to do

violence– hurting other people

to assassinate– to kill



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States in 1929.  At that time in America, black people didn’t have equal rights with white people.  Black people had to sit in the back of busses.  The schools were segregated and there were even separate public restrooms for black people and white people.  Black people’s lives were not very good.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a minister in the Baptist Church.  He fought against racial segregation.  He wanted equal rights for all people.  But he didn’t use violence in his fight.  He asked people to fight peacefully.  For example, he asked black people to ride in the front of the bus.  More than 200,000 people went to Washington D.C. to listen to him speak and ask the government to change unfair laws.    

Because of Martin Luther King, Jr., many laws began to change in the United States.  But many white people disagreed with him and his ways.  In 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by a white man.

Every year on the third Monday of January, Americans remember Martin Luther King, Jr.  They try to remember how much America has changed.  And they think about how much more America should change in the future.



1.  What is racial segregation?

2.  What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s job?

3.  How did he ask people to fight for their rights?

4.  Did Martin Luther King, Jr. kill someone?

5.  When do Americans celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?



1.  When races of people are separated.  For example, they cannot go to school together, eat in the same restaurants, use the same toilets, or live in the same neighborhoods.

2.  He was a minister.

3.  He asked them to fight peacefully.  They didn’t use any violence.

4.  No.  But Martin Luther King was killed in 1968.

5.  Americans celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the