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Martin is one of the funniest sitcoms in classic television Tags: martin classic funniest sitcoms classic television movies word life production feature weekly blog

Martin is an American sitcom produced by HBO Independent Productions (a subsidiary of HBO) that aired for five seasons, from August 27, 1992 to May 1, 1997 on Fox. The show is both titled after and stars actor-comedian Martin Lawrence along with supporting characters Tichina Arnold, Thomas Mikal Ford, Carl Anthony Payne II, and Tisha Campbell.

Reflecting the rising popularity of the Fox network throughout the 1990s, Martin was one of the network's highest-rated shows during the sitcom's five-season run. In contrast to the popularity of NBC's "Must See TV" on Thursday nights in the 1990s, many African American and Latino viewers flocked to Fox's Thursday night line-up of Martin, Living Single, and New York Undercover. In fact, these were the three highest-rated series among black households for the 1996–1997 season. (In order of popularity, Living Single, New York Undercover, and Martin.)

Set in Detroit, Michigan, the series stars Martin Lawrence in the role of Martin Payne, a disc jockey with a girlfriend named Gina Waters played by Tisha Campbell-Martin. Martin works for the fictional radio station WZUP and later for local Public-access television station Channel 51. A common theme of the series is Martin's ornery and wayward nature. Episodes often center on Martin's inconsiderate and smart-mouthed nature towards his friends, neighbors, and whoever else finds themselves in his presence. When all is said and done however, Martin loves his family and friends—it just takes dire situations for him to show it.

As the series progressed, plotlines saw Martin eventually move on to become the host of the talk show "Word on the Street," which aired on the small Detroit Public-access television station Channel 51. He retained this position until the series' final episode, in which he and Gina prepared to move to Los Angeles, from where his show would be syndicated nationally. The move coincided fortuitously with Gina's promotion by her boss Mr. Whitaker to head up his company's new Los Angeles headquarters, after having shut down the Detroit office. Pam, whom Whitaker let go two episodes earlier due to this consolidation and downsizing, went on to pursue a career in the music industry as an artists & repertoire (A&R) executive at Keep It Real Records. (This plotline is the subject of a backdoor pilot episode that was included in the Martin series for a planned sitcom on Fox starring Tichina Arnold to be called Goin' for Mine [Episode 129, "Goin' for Mine"]. This sitcom never materialized, though.) And at series' end, Cole proposed to his even more dimwitted, but attractive and devoted girlfriend Shanise (portrayed by Maura McDade), and they made plans to move into their own place.

In early episodes, Lawrence began with a monologue of him speaking to the camera and audience from the darkened radio studio.

In 1996, Tisha Campbell filed a lawsuit against her co-star Martin Lawrence and the show’s producers for sexual harassment and verbal and physical assaults, and therefore does not appear in most of the season five episodes. HBO Studios eventually settled the case with Campbell so that the show’s last season could be completed. Campbell did return to the Martin set to film the two-part season finale under the condition that she would not appear in any scenes with Lawrence.

Main character

Martin Payne (Martin Lawrence) Martin, the title character, is a sweetheart deep down, but on the outside a very melodramatic, macho, ornery, blustery, conceited, inconsiderate, selfish, and insulting wise guy. Martin carries himself in a typical urban youth manner, using "Ebonics" and urban mannerisms. His girlfriend turned wife, Gina Waters, has sometimes tried to straighten him out or expostulate with him, but this had rarely worked what with Martin's ornery waywardness. Ever the paper tiger, Martin is not much of a physical fighter despite trying to come off as such. He has a particularly antagonistic relationship with Gina's best friend/co-worker, Pam. Every time Pam's in his presence, Martin antagonizes her, most often with degrading zingers that animalize her. Martin has many commonly used catchphrases on the show, from "Get to steppin" (when ousting guests from his apartment) and "Damn that, Gina!" (dismissing his wife's ideas) to "Damn, Damn, Daaamn!" (disappointment, a reference to Good Times), etc.

Supporting characters

Gina Waters-Payne (Tisha Campbell) (Seasons 1-5; appears for a short time in Season 5), Martin's professional and occasionally silly/misbehaved, but eternally romantic, forgiving girlfriend and later his wife. Gina works for a public-relations firm. She complements Martin's street savvy, with her constant voice of reason and sentimental thoughts. She is also Pam's best friend, but comes across as snobby (along with Pam) to many of Martin's other recurring characters, due to herself being the college-educated opposite.

Tommy Strawn (Thomas Mikal Ford), Martin's level-headed best friend. Intelligent and charming, he serves as the voice of reason, especially during Martin's schemes. He would often coin himself as a ladies man, and often would flirt with Pam and other women on the show. Had a romantic relationship with Pam during Season 3, but retained their friendship for the remainder of the series (see Pamela James, below). His mysterious employment status was a running gag on the show. Of all the male characters, he is the only one to have attended college.

Cole Brown (Carl Anthony Payne II), Martin's other best friend. Dimwitted but well-meaning, and known for his eclectic taste in headgear, he proudly cleans jets at the airport for a living, drives an AMC Pacer, and lives with his mother Maddie (portrayed by comedienne Laura Hayes) until Season Five. For a time, Cole appeared to be attracted strictly to plus-sized women, and until the final season dated a security guard named "Big Shirley" (who is fully seen in only one episode; another episode only showed "her" below the neck to portray her as being much taller and bigger than Cole). In that final season, he moves into his own apartment in a rough neighborhood, and dates Shanise, who appears to be even more dimwitted than he is. During the series finale, he becomes engaged to Shanise. Cole is absent in several episodes in Season 3 without any explanation, most notably - the season finale episode "Love is a Beach" where Martin and Gina are finally wed. Though his absence was explained by having Cole miss his flight, the general idea of him not being present at the ceremony was poorly received by fans.

Pamela James (Tichina Arnold), Gina's sassy, fiery best friend, who is consistently portrayed as Martin's antagonist. Pam worked at the PR firm where Gina is employed, as Gina's subordinate. Pam has a very adversarial relationship with Martin. She antagonizes him typically through belittling zingers that emasculate Martin and make him appear physically short and small. Pam and Tommy were occasionally flirtatious with each other in the beginning, and this developed into a romantic relationship for a brief time, during the Season 3. They later broke up near the beginning of Season 4 and remained good friends for the rest of the series, though he retained a slight obsession with her. During the first season, Cole harbored a crush on Pam and was consistently rebuffed.

Shawn McDermott (Jonathan Gries) (1992–1994), the white, scatterbrained radio station engineer at WZUP, Martin always finds himself having rather strange conversations with him. Shawn often does things that upset their boss Stan, and once even tried to secure a record deal from Snoop Dogg when he was at an engagement party for Martin & Gina. Shawn was later fired, along with Martin, when Stan sold the radio station. It is revealed in a later episode that Shawn was retained by the new station as an engineer. Shawn's final appearance on the show was in the Season 2 season finale episode where he says farewell to Martin. That particular episode showed a more serious side of Shawn as he gives Martin some advice on life that actually made sense. After this episode, Shawn is never seen or mentioned again, with the exception of the Season 4 clip show "The Best of Martin" in which he appears via archive footage.

 Stan Winters (Garrett Morris) (1992–1994; 1995 guest role) was Martin and Shawn's boss, the owner and founder of radio station WZUP. He perpetually used too much cologne and wore woefully outdated clothing from the 1970s. Martin knew Stan to be cheap and quite untrustworthy, and just when Martin didn't think Stan could sink any lower with his schemes, Stan was always able to surprise him. Furthermore, Garrett Morris' real-life shooting resulted in his unexpected departure from the series and a major change in the series, regarding Martin's career. Therefore, Stan is written out of the series close to the end of Season 2 when he gets into trouble with the IRS due to a debt of $20,000 in unpaid taxes, precipitating his sale of the radio station and subsequent flight to parts unknown. He returned for one episode in Season 3 to form a partnership with Martin, and together they opened a restaurant—Marty Mart's Meatloaf and Waffles. Needless to say, their joint venture was a failure, whereupon Stan left and was never mentioned again in the series.

 Shanise McGullicuddy (Maura McDade) (1996-1997, recurring role) is Cole's girlfriend (and later fiancée) during the fifth and final season. Shanise is a very friendly woman. She always has a positive attitude. However, she is even more dimwitted than Cole. She and Cole briefly break up in one episode but this occurs because when she told Cole she needed more space, he assumed she meant she wanted to break up but she actually wanted a bigger apartment. She is also thoughtful and willing to help others. In the episode Over the Hoochie's Nest, she assists Martin, Tommy and Cole in rescuing Pam from an insane asylum. In the series finale, Cole wanted to ask Shanise to marry him. He had a hard time asking her due to him losing the ring. Shanise was even taken to get X-rayed in order for Cole to find the ring after he stuck it in cupcake. Finally, they become engaged when she is tricked into reading a letter that says "Will you marry me?" and Cole says yes to her. At the end of the episode, she is last seen helping the Paynes move out of their apartment as well as saying farewell to them. She is the only minor character to only be on the series in a recurring role.

 

Bruh-Man (comedian Reginald Ballard): Bruh-Man is a friendly, yet extremely presumptuous man who lives on the fifth "flo" (yet he always puts 4 fingers up when relating this fact) directly upstairs from Martin. Whenever Martin asks what he is doing, Bruh-Man replies, "nuttin' ....just chillin'." He often climbs down the "f-a-a-a-ah 'scape" (fire escape)[What he seemed to have said happen when he tried to exit Gina's fire escape] to enter Martin's apartment, taking food, borrowing assorted items, and generally lounging around as if he lives there. At first, this greatly annoyed Martin but he eventually got used to it. In fact, fire escapes seem to be his only means of movement throughout buildings—he is seldom seen entering or exiting the apartment through the front door. When he attended Martin and Gina's engagement party at Gina's apartment, he went as far as climbing the building since there was no fire escape. Bruh-Man always wears badly fitting clothing a size or two too small (frequently, items he's "borrowed" from Martin), and has a characteristic gait consisting of a slow and lazy, rather limping, plodding walk, with his head cocked to one side. Martin, as Bruh-Man was heading toward the window to make his exit, once referred to it as his "slow bop." Bruh-Man speaks in a deep voice and with a long drawl, not unlike that of Shaquille O'Neal. Despite being a popular character, Bruh-Man was quietly phased out of the series, along with most of the secondary characters played by Martin Lawrence. His last appearances were in the fourth season, and he explains his absence by stating that he only comes around when Martin and Gina are away out of respect for their marriage. This is proven true as he does not appear in the fifth and final season of the series, however he is mentioned briefly. In episode 13, "Ain't That About a Ditch", when Gina's mother locks Martin out of his apartment, he pauses to think, then whispers "Bruh-Man" to himself as he walks off to climb in through the fire escape.

 Nadine Waters (Judyann Elder): Gina's doting and somewhat over-protective mother, who comes on as sophisticated, sweet and mild-mannered on the surface, but has shown a dark side on occasion—such as once getting immediately turned on by a brief scene from a porn video, and generally becoming quite flustered whenever conversation or situations turned to sexual subjects.

Dr. Cliff Waters (J.A. Preston): Gina's overbearing and overprotective father who works as a chiropractor. Instantly disliked Martin because he didn't feel he was good enough for his daughter. During the wedding rehearsal dinner, he threatens to start "capping" people, instantly inciting a major fight with members of the Payne family.

Ms. Geri (Jeri Gray): A tough, trigger-happy senior who, regardless of her age and diminutive size, has no qualms about "whoopin' ass." Most of her assaults are committed on Martin in everyday situations, such as standing in line at the DMV or at the unemployment office. On one occasion, her opponent was Dragonfly Jones (Lawrence), whom she soundly defeated as well, taking his money for good measure.

Hustle Man (comedian Tracy Morgan): The neighborhood purveyor of questionable products and services "at a discount rate! I don't do dat for erra'body! I'm just tryna help YOU out!" He always greets Martin with his trademark "What's happenin', chief?" In one episode, one of Hustle Man's more outrageous items for sale was an 'appetizing' array of roasted pigeons impaled on a tree branch (as if barbecued on it), which he attempted to sell to Martin and his friends while they were snowed in and starving. In another episode he served as Martin's cut-rate "wedding planner," armed with a shopping cart brimming with plastic flowers, chitlin loaf, and a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor—Martin's retaliation for Gina's choice of a more elegant and ridiculously overpriced wedding planner.

Nipsey (Sean Lampkin): The rotund, good-natured bartender who owns Nipsey's Lounge, the group's favorite hangout.

Mr. Jim (John Wesley): Martin's barber since childhood, and proprietor of Jim's Barber Shop. Greatly respected by everyone in the neighborhood, he seems to take a paternalistic interest in Martin, and tries to advise him as best he can when called upon to do so. Mr. Jim takes pride in the fact that he can remember the nickname he has given each and every "regular" that ever sat in his barber's chair.

Lil' Dawg (Adrian Tibbs): A tall, lanky barber at Jim's Barber Shop whose unorthodox personal style is the subject of much ribbing in the workplace—he keeps his head nearly shaved, but grows a long mane of hair in back, and wears Coke-bottle-thick glasses. He is often seen at Nipsey's trolling for women (successfully!), and despite his looks and demeanor always seems to come out on top whenever he and Martin have a disagreement.

Buckwhite (Ray Massara): A very easygoing, tall white boy with a huge dark-coloured Afro, Buckwhite has been seen hanging out at Jim's Barber Shop, at Martin's apartment for various sporting events on TV, and at Nipsey's Lounge. He speaks Ebonics in an unaffected "normal" white manner. (Massara is actually a property master and special-effects assistant in the film and television industry; at the time of his appearances on Martin, he was that production's property master.)

Brother For Real (Charlie Murphy): A faithful audience member of Martin's "Word on the Street" television program, and quite possibly Martin's number one fan. Brother For Real attends every of Martin's taping for his show and encouraged Martin to be himself during one of the show's taping (Season 3, Episode 14).

Angry Man (David Jean Thomas): A fellow audience member of Martin's "Word on the Street" television program, and often can be found in other locations such as the DMV. He is prone to stand up and shout "Man.... SIT-CHObutt DOWN!!" when a guest (or anyone else, for that matter) says something he disagrees with.

Mr. and Mrs. Booker (Jeris Lee Poindexter and Ellia English): A married couple and audience members of Martin's "Word on the Street" television program. The Bookers are constantly arguing. Mr. Booker appears to be somewhat goofy and dimwitted, while Mrs. Booker is loud and aggressive. Their most prominent appearance is in the Season 4 episode "Kicked to the Curb", where they assist Martin and Gina in getting their apartment back, by scaring off the new tenants after Mrs. Booker pretends to be a scorned wife looking to fight the woman who was "creeping with her husband".

Maddie Brown (Laura Hayes): Cole's gossiping, no-nonsense mother who still supports him. She's known for talking about other people and spreading their business around. For example, Martin being broke and having Gina support him.

Evelyn Porter (LaWanda Page): A senior resident who lives in Martin's apartment building who is also friends with Mama Payne and Cole's mother, Maddie.

The Reverend Leon Lonnie Love (David Alan Grier): A local fire-and-brimstone preacher whose brand of religion doesn't seem to frown upon avarice, lying, cheating, stealing, and philandering—even with his own cousin Pam.

 Marian (Roxanne Reese): A seemingly well-heeled, middle-aged neighborhood alcoholic who often appears at parties, nightclubs, and gatherings, such as the audience on Martin's show "Word on the Street" and The Ladies League of Detroit. However, in one episode, she reveals that she isn't drunk that she is instead on medication.

Laquita (Simbi Khali): The nail stylist at Sheneneh's Sho' Nuff Hair Salon and Sheneneh's even-more loudmouthed best friend.

Keylolo (rapper Yo-Yo): A hairstylist at Sheneneh's Sho' Nuff Hair Salon. She is also Sheneneh's sidekick.

Bonquisha (Kim Coles): Another one of Sheneneh's friends who always has bad breath. Bonquisha routinely claims that Keylolo is the one that has bad breath stating that was "eatin chicklins".

Sonny (Reno Wilson): Martin's shoplifting cousin who dresses and acts like Eddie Murphy.

  Luis (Luis Antonio Ramos): The superintendent of the apartment building where Martin lives. In one episode, he marries Pam to avoid deportation.

Titus (Bentley Kyle Evans): A handsome well-dressed guy who is Gina's hairdresser, and seems to be attracted to Martin—affectionately calling him "Almond." (Evans was the executive producer of Martin; he made several cameo and voice-only appearances throughout the series, including one of the callers on WZUP, a guest at one of Gina's parties, and the only guy who appeared at an all-male fashion show that Pam and Tommy sponsored.)

Myra (BeBe Drake-Massey) - Stan's girlfriend; they once double-dated with Martin and Gina (while Martin was on the outs with Cole, Pam and Tommy). She was a customer of Shenehneh's hair salon, and went bald after Gina treated her hair. While working for the unemployment office, she got several jobs for Martin - then nearly gave up on him since he kept quitting each job he received.

Gloria Rodriguez (Angelina Estrada) - Station director and Martin's supervisor at television station Channel 51.

Bernice (Kymberly Newberry) - a producer at Channel 51 who is always at odds with Martin. (Kymberly Newberry also briefly played an entirely different part of a shoe-saleswoman in episode 8 of season 2 "You've Got a Friend")

Other roles played by Lawrence

 

One of the trademark running gags of Martin, especially early in its run, was Lawrence playing multiple characters, utilizing various costumes and prosthetic appliances. This was often done as a plot device or comic relief. Season Four was the last season to feature Lawrence as multiple characters on a regular basis. This technique was rarely used in Season 5, which was the final season of the series. The only characters that appeared in Season 5 were Sheneneh, Roscoe and Elroy. Mama Payne does not appear but her voice is heard in the holiday episode "Scrooge". Most of the other characters were last seen in Season 4 and the episodes they last appeared in seemingly wrote them out of the series.

 Sheneneh Jenkins: Played by Martin in drag, she is a stereotypical "ghetto girl": she always has on flashy clothes/fashion accessories and hair weaves; nature has endowed her with a big butt; and she speaks with feminine Ebonics. Sheneneh is the owner/operator of Sheneneh's Sho' Nuff Hair Salon. Mama Payne and Sheneneh were the only two characters Lawrence played as women on the show, and both characters hated Gina. Full of quirks, Sheneneh is awkwardly tall and thick in build and often describes herself as a "la-a-a-dy." Some of her other locutions include "Oh mah goodnehhh!" and "Aw-iight?" at every other word. Sheneneh's portrayed as being very mouthy, confrontational, and feisty. She lives in the apartment across the hallway from Martin's and factors into many of the plots by picking fights with Gina and especially Pam out in the hallway. Sheneneh has several girlfriends who occasionally appeared in the program, those being Keylolo (Yo-Yo), Bonquisha (Kim Coles), and Laquita (Simbi Khali). Of all the secondary characters played by Lawrence, Sheneneh is the only one to make an appearance in the final episode, though only her voice was heard.

Edna (Mama) Payne: Martin's shrill, extremely frenetic, and easily excited mother, who is insanely over-protective of Martin, and who dislikes Gina immensely. Comically, Lawrence's mustache was never covered with stage make-up while in this role. Mama's mustache was occasionally the subject of a sharp retort by Gina when she and Martin argued. She has a brother named Junior (portrayed by John Witherspoon). Mama does not appear in the fifth and final season, but her voice is heard in the Christmas episode "Scrooge". She has the same catchphrase as her son Martin, "Damn! Damn! Daaaaamn!"

Otis: A very abrasive, strict, stuttering and potbellied old man, who is always seen in uniform while on his job as a security guard. His catchphrase is repeatedly referring to males as "bah" [boy] and females and "guh" [girl]. Otis is usually seen melodramatically and hyperactively attempting to keep order whether there's trouble or not. Because of his immense gut, advanced age, and oafish appearance, Otis is often taken for a weak old man who just acts tough. Because of this, he's often challenged to physical fights following his abrasive behavior. Otis is always more than willing to oblige others in engaging in combat. Surprisingly through his buffoonish-styled wrestling, unexpected strength from Otis always catches his "antagonists" off guard, invariably making him the victor in the end. Otis's pet peeve is misconduct in the "younger generations." When all is said and done, he physically defeats all his much younger challengers with ease. In his final episode on the show, he moves to an undisclosed island. Otis does not appear in the fifth and final season.

Jerome: A loudmouthed, aging, somehow well-funded, once-flashy but now-faded Detroit pimp. He runs an illicit casino, sports a family-heirloom gold tooth ("gold toof-es") in his mouth, was once voted Detroit's "Player of the Year," and has his sights set on Pam, as when he occasionally calls her "Junk in the Trunk." He often speaks in rhyming sentences. Usually Jerome appears on the scene with his signature spiel, "Oooh, oooh, oo-oo-ooh, I say Jerome's in the house, I say Jerome's in the ah-um-ah-um...watch yo' mouth!" Jerome's final appearance on the show is in the episode Uptown Friday Night (which parodies Uptown Saturday Night), in which his final line is "And that's the eeeend!" Jerome does not appear in the fifth and final season.

Roscoe: An antagonistic child with a perpetually runny nose and a very smart mouth, who can be considered Gina's arch-enemy (similar to Martin and Pam's rivalry). Lawrence played the role by standing on his knees, with shoes attached to his kneecaps. Roscoe only appears once during the fifth and final season.

Dragonfly Jones: A martial arts "expert" who is beaten up in nearly every appearance. He always seems to owe money to a real martial artist, who is actually a student of Dragonfly's named Kenji, who would often beat Dragonfly up when he refused to pay him some small sum he was owed. Dragonfly does not appear in the fifth and final season.

Bob: A white man who works in an unknown capacity at the marketing firm where Gina is employed, Bob is best described as a stereotypical surfer-dude-cum-redneck. He speaks in a Southern Californian accent mixed with a Southern twang, and often uses words like "dude" and "man," even in professional settings. Lawrence achieved his appearance as this character with stage make-up and a prosthetic nose appliance to make him appear caucasian, as well as wearing a long, blond mullet wig to complete the look. Bob only appears in 2 episodes, once in the first season and again in the second season.

Elroy Preston: The fictional "Godfather of Black Surf Music" who is now completely forgotten and washed up. Preston works as an auto mechanic, and is best known for randomly breaking into song while performing his mechanical duties. He often distracts himself and irritates others when reminiscing on things that involve his trademark song, which consists only of Preston singing "Don't you know no good!" over and over. He is seen mostly in the first three seasons. He makes one appearance in the fifth and final season.

King Beef: Cole's favorite 1970s blaxploitation movie actor, which is actually Lawrence in a huge bodysuit. Whenever trouble arises, he feels the overwhelming need to dance. It doesn't matter if he is on the run from Godzilla—he always finds time for dancing, and always with his scantily clad female co-stars flanking him. He is only seen during the first two seasons.

Source: Wikipedia

In honor of those we have lost, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tags: martin luther king jr celebrate life activist leader barack political word life production feature

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, "I Have a Dream."

Early Years

Born as Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. The King and Williams families were rooted in rural Georgia. Martin Jr.'s grandfather, A.D. Williams, was a rural minister for years and then moved to Atlanta in 1893. He took over the small, struggling Ebenezer Baptist church with around 13 members and made it into a forceful congregation. He married Jennie Celeste Parks and they had one child that survived, Alberta. Michael King Sr. came from a sharecropper family in a poor farming community. He married Alberta in 1926 after an eight-year courtship. The newlyweds moved to A.D. Williams home in Atlanta.

Michael King Sr. stepped in as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church upon the death of his father-in-law in 1931. He too became a successful minister, and adopted the name Martin Luther King Sr. in honor of the German Protestant religious leader Martin Luther. In due time, Michael Jr. would follow his father's lead and adopt the name himself.

Young Martin had an older sister, Willie Christine, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King. The King children grew up in a secure and loving environment. Martin Sr. was more the disciplinarian, while his wife's gentleness easily balanced out the father's more strict hand. Though they undoubtedly tried, Martin Jr.’s parents couldn’t shield him completely from racism. Martin Luther King Sr. fought against racial prejudice, not just because his race suffered, but because he considered racism and segregation to be an affront to God's will. He strongly discouraged any sense of class superiority in his children which left a lasting impression on Martin Jr.

Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King Jr. entered public school at age 5. In May, 1936 he was baptized, but the event made little impression on him. In May, 1941, Martin was 12 years old when is grandmother, Jennie, died of a heart attack. The event was traumatic for Martin, more so because he was out watching a parade against his parents' wishes when she died. Distraught at the news, young Martin jumped from a second story window at the family home, allegedly attempting suicide.

King attended Booker T. Washington High School, where he was said to be a precocious student.

He skipped both the ninth and eleventh grades, and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta at age 15, in 1944. He was a popular student, especially with his female classmates, but an unmotivated student who floated though his first two years. Although his family was deeply involved in the church and worship, young Martin questioned religion in general and felt uncomfortable with overly emotional displays of religious worship. This discomfort continued through much of his adolescence,

initially leading him to decide against entering the ministry, much to his father's dismay. But in his junior year, Martin took a Bible class, renewed his faith and began to envision a career in the ministry. In the fall of his senior year, he told his father of his decision.

Education and Spiritual Growth

In 1948, Martin Luther King Jr. earned a sociology degree from Morehouse College and attended the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. He thrived in all his studies, and was valedictorian of his class in 1951, and elected student body president. He also earned a fellowship for graduate study. But Martin also rebelled against his father’s more conservative influence by drinking beer and playing pool while at college. He became involved with a white woman and went through a difficult time before he could break off the affair.

During his last year in seminary, Martin Luther King Jr. came under the influence of theologian Reinhold Niebbuhr, a classmate of his father's at Morehouse College. Niebbuhr became a mentor to Martin, challenging his liberal views of theology. Niebuhr was probably the single most important influence in Martin's intellectual and spiritual development. After being accepted at several colleges for his doctoral study including Yale and Edinburgh in Scotland, King enrolled in Boston University.

During the work on this doctorate, Martin Luther King Jr. met Coretta Scott, an aspiring singer and musician, at the New England Conservatory school in Boston. They were married in June 1953 and had four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott and Bernice. In 1954, while still working on his dissertation, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama. He completed his Ph.D. and was award his degree in 1955. King was only 25 years old.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

On March 2, 1955, a 15-year-old girl refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city bus in violation of local law. Claudette Colvin was arrested and taken to jail. At first, the local chapter of the NAACP felt they had an excellent test case to challenge Montgomery's segregated bus policy. But then it was revealed that she was pregnant and civil rights leaders feared this would scandalize the deeply religious black community and make Colvin (and, thus the group's efforts) less credible in the eyes of sympathetic whites.

On December 1, 1955, they got another chance to make their case. That evening, 42-year-old Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home from an exhausting day at work.

She sat in the first row of the "colored" section in the middle of the bus. As the bus traveled its route, all the seats it the white section filled up, then several more white passengers boarded the bus. The bus driver noted that there were several white men standing and demanded that Parks and several other African Americans give up their seats. Three other African American passengers reluctantly gave up their places, but Parks remained seated. The driver asked her again to give up her seat and again she refused. Parks was arrested and booked for violating the Montgomery City Code. At her trial a week later, in a 30-minute hearing, Parks was found guilty and fined $10 and assessed $4 court fee.

On the night that Rosa Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon, head of the local NAACP chapter met with Martin Luther King Jr. and other local civil rights leaders to plan a citywide bus boycott. King was elected to lead the boycott because he was young, well-trained with solid family connections and had professional standing. But he was also new to the community and had few enemies, so it was felt he would have strong credibility with the black community.

In his first speech as the group's president, King declared, "We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice."

Martin Luther King Jr.'s fresh and skillful rhetoric put a new energy into the civil rights struggle in Alabama. The bus boycott would be 382 days of walking to work, harassment, violence and intimidation for the Montgomery's African-American community. Both King's and E.D. Nixon's homes were attacked. But the African-American community also took legal action against the city ordinance arguing that it was unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court's "separate is never equal" decision in Brown v. Board of Education. After being defeated in several lower court rulings and suffering large financial losses, the city of Montgomery lifted the law mandating segregated public transportation.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Flush with victory, African-American civil rights leaders recognized the need for a national organization to help coordinate their efforts. In January 1957, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and 60 ministers and civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches. They would help conduct non-violent protests to promote civil rights reform. King's participation in the organization gave him a base of operation throughout the South, as well as a national platform. The organization felt the best place to start to give African Americans a voice was to enfranchise them in the voting process. In February 1958, the SCLC sponsored more than 20 mass meetings in key southern cities to register black voters in the South.

King met with religious and civil rights leaders and lectured all over the country on race-related issues.

 

In 1959, with the help of the American Friends Service Committee, and inspired by Gandhi's success with non-violent activism, Martin Luther King visited Gandhi's birthplace in India. The trip affected him in a deeply profound way, increasing his commitment to America's civil rights struggle. African-American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who had studied Gandhi's teachings, became one of King's associates and counseled him to dedicate himself to the principles of non-violence. Rustin served as King's mentor and advisor throughout his early activism and was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. But Rustin was also a controversial figure at the time, being a homosexual with alleged ties to the Communist Party, USA. Though his counsel was invaluable to King, many of his other supporters urged him to distance himself from Rustin.

In February 1960, a group of African-American students began what became known as the "sit-in" movement in Greensboro, North Carolina. The students would sit at racially segregated lunch counters in the city's stores. When asked to leave or sit in the colored section, they just remained seated, subjecting themselves to verbal and sometimes physical abuse. The movement quickly gained traction in several other cities. In April 1960, the SCLC held a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina with local sit-in leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged students to continue to use nonviolent methods during their protests. Out of this meeting, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee formed and for a time, worked closely with the SCLC. By August of 1960, the sit-ins had been successful in ending segregation at lunch counters in 27 southern cities.

By 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. was gaining national notoriety. He returned to Atlanta to become co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church, but also continued his civil rights efforts. On October 19, 1960, King and 75 students entered a local department store and requested lunch-counter service but were denied. When they refused to leave the counter area, King and 36 others were arrested. Realizing the incident would hurt the city's reputation, Atlanta's mayor negotiated a truce and charges were eventually dropped. But soon after, King was imprisoned for violating his probation on a traffic conviction. The news of his imprisonment entered the 1960 presidential campaign, when candidate John F. Kennedy made a phone call to Coretta Scott King. Kennedy expressed his concern for King's harsh treatment for the traffic ticket and political pressure was quickly set in motion. King was soon released.

'I Have a Dream'

In the spring of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. organized a demonstration in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Entire families attended. City police turned dogs and fire hoses on demonstrators. Martin Luther King was jailed along with large numbers of his supporters, but the event drew nationwide attention.

However, King was personally criticized by black and white clergy alike for taking risks and endangering the children who attended the demonstration. From the jail in Birmingham, King eloquently spelled out his theory of non-violence: "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community, which has constantly refused to negotiate, is forced to confront the issue."

By the end of the Birmingham campaign, Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters were making plans for a massive demonstration on the nation's capital composed of multiple organizations, all asking for peaceful change. On August 28, 1963, the historic March on Washington drew more than 200,000 people in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that King made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, emphasizing his belief that someday all men could be brothers.

 

The rising tide of civil rights agitation produced a strong effect on public opinion. Many people in cities not experiencing racial tension began to question the nation's Jim Crow laws and the near century second class treatment of African-American citizens. This resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation of public accommodations and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities. This also led to Martin Luther King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964.

King's struggle continued throughout the 1960s. Often, it seemed as though the pattern of progress was two steps forward and one step back. On March 7, 1965, a civil rights march, planned from Selma to Alabama's capital in Montgomery, turned violent as police with nightsticks and tear gas met the demonstrators as they tried to cross the Edmond Pettus Bridge. King was not in the march, however the attack was televised showing horrifying images of marchers being bloodied and severely injured. Seventeen demonstrators were hospitalized leading to the naming the event "Bloody Sunday." A second march was cancelled due to a restraining order to prevent the march from taking place. A third march was planned and this time King made sure he was on it. Not wanting to alienate southern judges by violating the restraining order, a different tact was taken. On March 9, 1965, a procession of 2,500 marchers, both black and white, set out once again to cross the Pettus Bridge and confronted barricades and state troopers. Instead of forcing a confrontation, King led his followers to kneel in prayer and they then turned back. The event caused King the loss of support among some younger African-American leaders, but it nonetheless aroused support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

From late 1965 through 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. expanded his Civil Rights Movement into other larger American cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. But he met with increasing criticism and public challenges from young black-power leaders. King's patient, non-violent approach and appeal to white middle-class citizens alienated many black militants who considered his methods too weak and too late.

In the eyes of the sharp-tongued, blue jean young urban black, King's manner was irresponsibly passive and deemed non-effective. To address this criticism King began making a link between discrimination and poverty. He expanded his civil rights efforts to the Vietnam War. He felt that America's involvement in Vietnam was politically untenable and the government's conduct of the war discriminatory to the poor. He sought to broaden his base by forming a multi-race coalition to address economic and unemployment problems of all disadvantaged people.

Assassination and Legacy

By 1968, the years of demonstrations and confrontations were beginning to wear on Martin Luther King Jr. He had grown tired of marches, going to jail, and living under the constant threat of death. He was becoming discouraged at the slow progress civil rights in America and the increasing criticism from other African-American leaders. Plans were in the works for another march on Washington to revive his movement and bring attention to a widening range of issues. In the spring of 1968, a labor strike by Memphis sanitation workers drew King to one last crusade. On April 3, in what proved to be an eerily prophetic speech, he told supporters, "I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land." The next day, while standing on a balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King Jr. was struck by a sniper's bullet. The shooter, a malcontent drifter and former convict named James Earl Ray, was eventually apprehended after a two-month, international manhunt. The killing sparked riots and demonstrations in more than 100 cities across the country. In 1969, Ray pleaded guilty to assassinating King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He died in prison on April 23, 1998.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s life had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States. Years after his death, he is the most widely known African-American leader of his era. His life and work have been honored with a national holiday, schools and public buildings named after him, and a memorial on Independence Mall in Washington, D.C. But his life remains controversial as well. In the 1970s, FBI files, released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that he was under government surveillance, and suggested his involvement in adulterous relationships and communist influences. Over the years, extensive archival studies have led to a more balanced and comprehensive assessment of his life, portraying him as a complex figure: flawed, fallible and limited in his control over the mass movements with which he was associated, yet a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means.

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This week's celebrity pick is the talented actor, Martin Lawrence
Category: Celebrity Pick
Tags: martin lawrence celebrity pick word life production feature blog

Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence (born April 16, 1965) is German-born American actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and comedian. He came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor, most notably in the films House Party, Bad Boys, Blue Streak, and Big Momma's House. Lawrence has had numerous film roles and his own highly-rated television series eponymously named after him, Martin, which aired on the Fox network from 1992 to 1997.

Lawrence, the second of six children, was born in Frankfurt am Main, on April 16, 1965, to American parents. He was named after civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and U.S. President John F. Kennedy. His father John Lawrence served in the U.S. military. After his parents divorced when he was eight years old,Lawrence rarely saw his father, who worked as a police officer. His mother Chlora Lawrence (née Bailey, July 24, 1930 – August 28, 2008) began working several jobs to support her family. During his teen years Lawrence excelled at boxing. He lived in Maryland, and attended Thomas G. Pullen School of Creative and Performing Arts (Landover, Maryland), Fairmont Heights High School (Fairmont Heights, Maryland), Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and Friendly High School in Fort Washington, Maryland, becoming a Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves boxing contender. He seriously considered a professional career until he suffered a black eye that prompted him to reconsider.

Lawrence moved to Denver, Colorado and found his way to the legendary Kings Wood comedy club. Shortly after appearing at the Wood, he won a performance spot on Star Search. He did well on the show and made it to the final round, but didn't win. However, executives at Columbia TriStar Television saw Martin's performance and offered him the role of "Maurice" on the television sitcom What's Happening Now! This was his first acting job. Upon cancellation of that show, Lawrence found bit parts in various films and television series. His breakthrough role was as Cee in the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing. Other roles followed in films such as the House Party series, Talkin' Dirty After Dark, and the Eddie Murphy vehicle Boomerang. During this period, entertainment mogul Russell Simmons selected him to host the groundbreaking series Def Comedy Jam on HBO. Def Comedy Jam gave many comedians (including Chris Tucker, Dave Chappelle, Mike Epps, Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer) mainstream exposure.

During his stint with Def Comedy Jam, Lawrence appeared in his own hit series, Martin, which aired on Fox TV. The show ran from 1992 to 1997 and was an enormous success. Martin was the flagship of Fox's Thursday-night line-up, which drew millions of viewers away from NBC's "Must See TV" line-up. He hosted Saturday Night Live on February 19, 1994, where he made crude remarks about women's genitalia and personal hygiene; the monologue was completely edited out of NBC reruns and syndicated versions, and Lawrence was banned from the show for life. Martin's ratings continued to skyrocket so much that Fox became more of a contender against NBC and came closer to being considered among the top television networks.

After Martin ended its run in 1997, Lawrence found ample work in comedy films. He often starred as the second lead opposite actors including Eddie Murphy, Danny DeVito, and Tim Robbins. Many of his films were blockbusters at the box office, including Nothing to Lose, Life, Blue Streak, and Big Momma's House. He also starred in critical- and box-office failures including, Black Knight and National Security. Regardless, his salary steadily increased to over $10 million per film role. He continues to work in film, with such films as Big Momma's House 2, which opened at No. 1 at North American box office and grossed almost $28 million its first weekend, and Wild Hogs (2007), in which he plays a bored suburbanite seeking adventure on the open road in a biker comedy alongside John Travolta, Tim Allen and William H. Macy.

In 2006, Lawrence appeared on Inside the Actors Studio, during which Lawrence briefly brought back to life some of the characters he'd portrayed on Martin.

In 2008, Lawrence starred in Disney's College Road Trip co-starring with Raven-Symoné. This was his first G-rated film. Even so, it is not his first time appearing in a children's film; he supplied a voice for Open Season (2006) opposite Ashton Kutcher.

At the 2009 BET Awards he appeared in a spoof movie trailer with Jamie Foxx for a fictional movie, The Skank Robbers that featured their respective television characters Sheneneh Jenkins and Ugly Wanda. In 2010, Fox announced that it was producing a film based on the sketch, featuring Foxx, Lawrence, and actress Halle Berry.

In 2011, Lawrence reprised his role as FBI agent Malcolm Turner in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, the third film in the Big Momma's House series.

In January 2013, it was announced that Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer are considering pairing up to star in a comedy for Lionsgate TV. The series will likely follow the same production model as Charlie Sheen's Anger Management, which is also produced by Lionsgate TV. That show was recently given a hardy back-90 pickup following its initial 10-episode order. In March 2013, it was announced that television producers/writers Robert L. Boyett and Robert Horn are on board, writing and executive producing. They have worked on the popular hit sitcoms Family Matters, Perfect Strangers, Full House, and Designing Women. Braddock & Jackson, pairs the two actors as Chicago lawyers from "vastly different backgrounds who unexpectedly meet in court on the worst day of their lives," according to a network description. David A. Arnold has been tapped to write. Arnold has written for television shows including: Raising Whitley, Meet the Browns, The Rickey Smiley Show and more. Edi Patterson has been cast as a regular and will play Verushka, a busty, sexy Russian woman who co-owns the massage shop next door. Danièle Watts will play the daughter of Lawrence's character. The show is expected to debut in 2014.

Source: Wikipedia

Check Out Reality Check By: Martin Pounds Tags: reality check martin pounds poetry r&b word life production underground artist

Author, Poet and Artist “Martin Pounds” is very talented, creative, and most definitely not afraid to let his gift flow into the hearts and souls of his many supporters. Martin is better known as, “The Writer’s Poet”. Born in the Bronx, NY, he began his successful journey at the young age of 14. While becoming interested in music, he developed the skill to write. From the heart and soul of Martin Pounds, through the pen onto the pad, “The Writer’s Poet”, produces a beautiful poetic vibe that cannot, and will not be forgotten.
"My passion to write is too strong to ignore". I always imagined being a poetic artist because music makes me feel complete. Without becoming a gimmick, I want the world to see how music and poetry brings good people together. Martin Pounds

Martin released his first book entitled, “A Life’s Journey: A Lifetime of Poetry” on August 4, 2009. In addition to that, he is now working on the release of his Debut Album, “The Writer’s Poet: Reality Check
I am a thinker in thought with one goal. That goal is to present my words to a world that is constantly changing with hopes that I can be of good courage throughout the challenging economic times that our country is facing. Martin Pounds

The Writer’s Poet: One Mission, One Goal, One Dream
Album to be released: {The Writer’s Poet: Reality Check}
early 2011.

More About The Writer's Poet

 P.O.P Production is proud to present to you, The Writer’s Poet, “Martin Pounds” with his debut album, “Reality Check”.  The album will be released on early winter 2011.  Please listen to the hit single, “A Hustle’s Dream”.  The album features vocalist Gizella Futak, Farisha, Noemi Escobar and Imaijen. Beats compose by Rebecca (DjBeccac) Calif  http://www.looperman.com/Becca and it will be produced ,Mixed & Master by Walter (POP) Monroe for P.O.P Productions. http://www.popproductionz.com
         Hip Hop, R&B, Jazz, etc, “The Writer’s Poet, has a great mind and ear for music.  With his diverse skills, he presents to the world a smooth lyrical composition that can only be captured through the mind of a writer.  Who else would be able to present to you passionate and liberating poetry other than “Martin Pounds.”  This ambitious talented people’s person will take you on an adventurous poetic journey that will blow your mind.
        Martin Pounds is available for interviews and live performances.  For booking information please contact Martin Pounds at: [email protected] for more information on The Writer’s Poet, please visit his websites at: www.facebook.com/thewriterspoet, www.reverbnation.com/thewriterspoet and www.martinpounds.ning.com and the Official website on the The Writer's Poet http://www.thewriterspoet.bandzoogle.com. The CD can be purchased at Amazon, Napster, Tradebit, Apple iTunes, Lala, Greatindie Music, Spotify, Didiom, Last FM, Super D, CD Connection, CD Universe and In and Out Records. 
Antidotes of Fear Tags: antidotes fear martin luther king jr. word life production news

 

Our problem is not to be rid of fear but rather to harness and master it.  How may it be mastered?  First, we must unflinchingly face our fears and honestly ask ourselves why we are afraid.  This confrontation will, to some measure, grant us power.  We shall never be cured of fear by escapism or repression, for the more we attempt to ignore and repress our fears, the more we multiply our inner conflicts…

And let us also remember that, more often than not, fear involves the misuse of imagination.  When we get our fears into the open, we may laugh at some of them, and this is good.  One psychiatrist said, “Ridicule is the master cure for fear and anxiety.”

Second, we can master fear through one of the supreme virtues known to man: courage.  Plato considered courage to be an element of the soul which bridges the cleavage between reason and desire.  Aristotle thought of courage as the affirmation of man’s essential nature.  Thomas Aquinas said that courage is the strength of mind capable of conquering whatever threatens the attainment of the highest good. 

Courage, the determination not to be overwhelmed by any object, however frightful, enables us to stand up to any fear…

Third, fear is not mastered through love.  The New Testament affirms, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear.”  The kind of love which led Christ to a cross and kept Paul unembittered amid the angry torrents of persecution is not soft, anemic, and sentimental.  Such love confronts evil without flinching and shows in our popular Parlance an infinite capacity “to take it.”  Such love overcomes the world even from a rough-hewn cross against the skyline…

Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that.  Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.  Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.  Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.

Fourth, fear is mastered through faith.  A common source of fear is awareness of deficient resources and of consequent inadequacy for life.  All too many people attempt to face the tensions of life with inadequate spiritual resources.

A positive religious faith does not offer an illusion that we shall be exempt from pain and suffering, nor does it imbue us with the idea that life is drama of unalloyed comfort and untroubled ease.  Rather, it instills us with the inner equilibrium needed to face strains, burdens, and fears that inevitably come, and assures us that the universe is trustworthy and that God is concerned…

Beneath and above the shifting sands of time, the uncertainties that darken our days, and the vicissitudes that cloud our nights is a wise and loving God.  This Universe is not a tragic expression of meaningless chaos but a marvelous display of orderly cosmos….Any man who finds this cosmic sustenance can walk the highways of life without the fatigue of pessimism and the weight of morbid fears.  Herein lies the answer to the neurotic fear of death that plagues so many of our lives…

This faith transforms the whirlwind of despair into a warm and reviving breeze of hope.  The words of a motto which a generation ago was commonly found on the wall in the homes of devout persons need to be etched on our hearts:

                                    Fear knocked at the door.

                                     Faith answered.

                                    There was no one there.

                                                                       

Martin Luther King, Jr., “The Strength to Love”

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