Ethnic Heritage: African-American
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every tenement
and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able
to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white
men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able
to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual,
"Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at
Just past noon on January 15, 1929, a son was born to the Reverend and
Mrs. Martin Luther King in an upstairs bedroom of 501 Auburn Avenue,
in Atlanta, Georgia. The couple named their first son after Rev.
King, but he was simply called "M.L." by the family. During the
next 12 years, this fine two story Victorian home is where "M.L."
would live with his parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles,
and their boarders. The home is located in the residential section
of "Sweet Auburn", the center of black Atlanta.
Two blocks west of the home is Ebenezer Baptist Church, the pastorate
of Martin's grandfather and father. It was in these surroundings
of home, church and neighborhood that "M.L." experienced his childhood.
Here, "M.L." learned about family and Christian love, segregation
in the days of "Jim Crow" laws, diligence and tolerance. It was
to Ebenezer Baptist Church that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would
return in 1960. As co-pastor with his father, "Daddy King", Dr.
King, Jr. would preach about love, equality, and non-violence.