Martin Luther King, Jr. was not the first to claim he had a dream. Some, such as Clayborne Carson and Keith D. Miller have recently shown that the civil rights leader's most famous speech is in fact largely lifted from the sermons of others. If King is not responsible for inventing the subject matter of this address, he can be credited with ordering and delivering it in a style appropriate to his very mixed audience. Speaking to a huge crowd both in Washington, D.C. and across television, King drew upon commonplaces of our country that lie deep in our cultural memory, and did so with a kind of sober charisma that made his own words memorable and above all, effective.The Martin Luther of Reformation greatness has absolutely nothing to do with MLK's name.
James Albert King and Delia King were the parents of ten children, one of whom died in infancy. Census records suggest that the second born and the first son of the King children was “probably” born on December 19, 1897. His mother wanted to name him Michael, after the archangel. His father wanted to name him after his two brothers, Martin and Luther. A compromise was reached, and he was called “Mike.” Years later, on his deathbed, James King asked his son (Mike) to officially change his name to Martin Luther, which he did. Mike also changed his son’s name to Martin Luther King Jr.
Burrow, R., Jr. (2009). Martin Luther King Jr. for Armchair Theologians (First edition., p. 28). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.