Before the inspiring speeches and marches for justice, Martin Luther King was a doctoral student at Boston University.
“Boston University was very empowering to him” said Vita Paladino an MLK scholar at the university.
King enrolled in 1951 studying ethics and philosophy and would finish his studies at BU in 1955.
The civil rights icon donated his personal papers to his Alma mater in 1964. During a news conference King explained the decision.
“It was this university that mean so much to me in terms of the formulation of my thinking and the ideas that have guided my life,” he said.
Those papers and his academic records now part of a special collection in the MLK reading room at the Boston University Library.
During King’s time at BU studying “Boston Personalism” also known as “Personal Idealism” was instrumental in guiding his growth from a pastor to an activist.
During the news conference King said, “The whole doctrine of personal idealism philosophically is the philosophical position that guides my theology.”
More information on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Archive can be found on the Boston University website.