Martin Luther King’s defining moment: A kitchen, in Montgomery, Alabama, past midnight

Well before the March on Washington. Or his “I have a Dream” speech. There was a defining moment for Martin Luther King, Jr. And it came past midnight, in a kitchen, at 309 South Jackson Street, in Montgomery, Alabama. King was 27 years old, two years into his role as pastor of nearby Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Over the past month, King had been leading the Montgomery bus boycott, a decision that set off a series of death threats delivered via mail and phone to his residence —...

Martin Luther King’s defining moment: A kitchen, in Montgomery, Alabama, past midnight

10 Comments on “Martin Luther King’s defining moment: A kitchen, in Montgomery, Alabama, past midnight

  1. Wow! This article is really revealing.

    I had heard a lot about threats on King’s life and the conflicts he faced on how to respond to aspirations of a higher calling and to protect his family. I wasn’t aware of how much this incident played a part in his decision making during the civil rights era. Thanks for blogging this!

  2. I’ve always admired Dr King’s tenacity and intelligence guided by his inner convictions and his willingness to speak out at great personal risk. I wish he were here today to address the overreaching government arms that threaten the integrity of the African-American family. I don’t think he would be pleased that his people are being used as pawns to enlarge and secure political advantage. Neutering a man with unearned rewards is worse than slavery in my opinion.

  3. Great article about the Dexter Ave. parsonage. My wife and I had the privilege of visiting it about two weeks ago. It was the highlight of our visits to civil rights spots in Montgomery and Selma. The reason for that is tour director Shirley Cherry. She not only gave us facts. She did it with passion, especially as she talked about Dr. King’s epiphany in the kitchen. We made an emotional and spiritual connection with her. What a great lady!

  4. This woman inspired me in so many ways – I still get chills thinking about the moment, King sitting in the kitchen, so young, getting ready to do something so big and dangerous. Most people don’t realize, cannot realize, how important the Civil Rights Movement was/is and how it continues to shape the discussion today. This is important. What Shirley Cherry does is important.

  5. Shirley Cherry was a teacher, school librarian, leader, role model, mentor, social conscience, and friend to thousands of students and staff who were fortunate to have her touch their lives during her years as an educator in Rhode Island. Her light shines wherever she goes.

  6. My Church was recently in Alabama and we were fortunate to meet Ms Cherry . She gave us a detailed tour of the King home . This was a life changing experience . To you Ms Cherry , thanks for all you do to keep Dr Kings memory alive .

  7. Hi Shirley: I am thinking about you as I am puting together the Black History Bowl. It was necessary to drop down to the Middle School children. The High School students were not interested.

  8. Ms. Cherry thank you so much for your wonderful consideration to quest who attend the tour of the King family home. May God continue to bless you in every area of your life. A saying my former pastor would say quote: what good things we make happen for others God will make happen for us.
    Deloris Taylor in Montgomery on God’s assignment.

  9. Pingback: Martin Luther King Jr’s Parsonage home in Montgomery, Alabama | ~ House Crazy ~

  10. Thank you, Ms. Cherry, for a wonderful tour you gave our group this January. Your retelling of Martin Luther King’s epiphany in his kitchen will stay with us for a long time.

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