This propensity to shape the minds of black students was not lost on young King.
In Mays's strength of purpose and religious commitment, young men like Martin found a role model. Mays as an enormous influence on him in his formative years.
and one of the principal influences in molding his personality.
King's father was constantly concerned with social and political issues.
He assisted in the organization of voter registration drives, participated in the NAACP, and sat on the board of Morehouse College.
As pastor of the local church, he embedded strong religious ideals in his son and linked him to the church.
In this description of nonviolent resistance, King draws on Richard Gregg's doctrine of "moral jiu-jitsu," as Gene Sharp and others will also do later.
In his final year at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania (where he obtained a bachelor's degree in divinity), King studied Reinhold Niebuhr, a Protestant theologian who impressed him profoundly.
Even though King recognized how greatly Black Americans were outnumbered and that it was, in effect, hopeless to attempt violence as a solution, he was skeptical of pacifism at this point.
His warming toward nonviolence began on a Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, where in 1948, he attended a lecture by Dr.