For his first 12 years Martin Luther King, Jr., lived in the comfortable middle-class home across from you. Two cultural values distinguished the King household: a strong sense of family and the ever-presence of religion. Bad behavior often met a stern response; good behavior received a warm embrace. Evening meals always waited until "Daddy King" came home. Prayer and scripture readings punctuated each day.
"Daddy King's" status as pastor at Ebenezer and strong maternal influences ensured a stable and secure upbringing for the King children. While the anguish caused by the Depression swirled all around them, the Kings lived comfortably - their home and church a neighborhood mainstay.
"My mother and father went out of their way to provide everything for their children....I went right on through school; I never had to drop out to work or anything. And you know, I was about to conclude that life had been wrapped up for me in a Christmas package."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From his speech, Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool
August 27, 1967
[Background photo caption reads]
Dr. King returned often to his neighborhood - here with two of his own children, Martin III and Yolanda. The home was acquired by The King Center in 1971; it opened to the public in 1975.
[Inset photo caption reads]
The King family, about 1939. Front, left to right: Alfred Daniel (A.D.), Christine, and Martin. Standing: Martin's mother Alberta Williams King, Martin Luther King, Sr., and grandmother Jennie Williams, who lived with the family until her death in 1941.