Martin Luther King, Jr.

One Man's Quest for Equality


Today, as always in American history, there is great national unrest on the subject of racism and discrimination. You will be exploring one man's quest for equality, the facts of his life, the political implications, and the civil rights movement. You will take a look at society then and the mysterious circumstances surrounding King's death.

The Task

Students will be using Netscape Navigator to visit Web sites on Martin Luther King, Jr. Each student will keep a notebook of the answers to questions along with their own thoughts and comments. Each student will create a timeline and take an electronic quiz. Finally students will share with the rest of the class what you've learned from this lesson. So, travel back in time and imagine yourself and your family as an African American family living in the 50's and 60's.

The Process

On your quest for equality, you must answer the questions listed below by linking to the various Web sites to find the answers. Write your anwers in a notebook along with your thoughts and comments. Once you have answered all of the questions continue to take the electronic quiz. Your final task is to create a timeline and share with the class what you've learned from this lesson.

The Quest

King Chronology

As a part of your quest on Martin Luther King, Jr., you are asked to answer these questions and then make a timeline.

1. When and where was MLK born?
2. In what profession was MLK?
3. Who does King marry?
4. When and what was Brown vs. Board of Education?
5. How was Rosa Parks' incident significant? What year?
6. In 1956, what was King arrested for?
7. What did the Unitied States district court finally rule?
8. King spends a month in India to study what?
9. What year was the first lunch-counter sit-in? Where?
10. State facts about the Freedom Riders?
11. What was King arrested for in Birmingham?
12. When was the March on Washington and what was the name of the speech given by King?
13. When was John F. Kennedy assassinated?
14. King receives the Nobel Peace Prize when?
15. When was Malcolm X murdered?
16. The march from Montgomery, Alabama to Selma was for what and when did it take place?
17. What Act was written and signed by whom in 1965?
18. "Black Power", the slogan, is used for the first time?
19. Dr. King attacks the government's Vietnam policy in a speech at the Chicago Coliseum in what year?
20. King leads protesters through Memphis in support of sanitation workers when?
21. Dr. King's last speech is called what?
22. Dr. King was assassinated?
23. Presidential candidate Senator Robert Kennedy is shot?

Civil Rights' Audio

In the Civil Rights' Era, listen to King's dream.
What is King's Dream for his people? Whose philosophy did King follow and what was that philosophy?
Listen to Malcolm X's response to king. How was Malcolm X's view at the time different from King's and what made him change his mind?

Martin Luther King Day, I Have a Dream

You may go to this Web site to view the whole speech.

LIFE Classic Images: MLK

See a color photo of the March on Washington.

Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism

What is anti-zionism? What is antisemitism? How does this compare to the African Americans?

The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: An Overview

What type of means did MLK use to open the way for blacks to obtain the rights and liberties guaranteed to all citizens?
Where was King assassinated - city, state, and specific location?
What seemed shady about the specific location?
Name some of the contradictions and the questions they had about the shooting?
Who shot MLK?

Robert Kennedy Speech

Robert Kennedy, on his campaign trail for Presidency, was informed of King's assassination. The police warned the senator not to make his speech that day because riots had broken out in cities across America. He decided to anyway to a crowd of 2,500 people who hadn't heard the news yet.
Where and when was this speech given? After reading the speech, why do you suppose these people didn't riot? Write down some key quotes.

"The unfinished agenda of Martin Luther King Jr."

Martin Luther King fought against other inequalities besides racism. Name other inequalities. Why do you feel they may or may not be important?

Marking the Calendar

State some of the arguments against having a Martin Luther King,Jr. Holiday. Do you feel it should be a holiday?

MLK Covers

Click on each picture to view up close each of the covers of Life magazine.

Electronic Classroom

Take the electronic quiz and show the teacher your score.
Go to the section "Tell us your thoughts" and read what others have said.

Other Resources

These are other Web sites you could browse if you have time.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Home Page
Martin Luther King
Excite Search Results: martin luther king jr
Technology/Curriculum Mailform
A Sampling of Resources on Martin Luther King Jr.
MLK Page
Fighting for equality
King's message still resounds

Learning Advice

Be sure to take careful notes and answer all questions to the fullest. You will be handing in your notebook so try and keep it as neat as possible. Don't forget to write down all your thoughts and comments.
One of the objectives of this Webquest is to enable you to put yourself in the place of the African American people in the 50's and 60's and look at what happened from their point of view in order to gain an understanding of how intolerance shaped the events of history.


Is the struggle for equality a thing of the past? Can you find examples of discrimination today? Find a newspaper article to support your findings. Compare the society of the 50's and 60's to today. Today laws help protect the rights of all Americans, but we must continue to work towards equality. How can you do your part?