Contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. in Gaining Civil Rights for Black Citizens

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Why did MLK succeed in gaining improved civil rights for black citizens in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s? P1: His leadership skills.
What? : MLK had great leadership skills and was able to coordinate people well. EG. Montgomery bus boycott and his work in churches and MIA. His setting up of SCLC and his coordinating of different groups, eg for March on Washington. Importance: He gave a clear format to the movement, which made it easier for people to get involved eg his coordinating Greensboro sit ins with the SCLC 1960. It also made it easier for govt. to support him, eg March on Washington 1963, which solidified the support for Cr legislation. He was also able to control how things panned out, eg Birmingham campaign using his knowledge of “Bull” Connor P2: Tactics

What? : He was non-violent. He used media to his advantage, he mobilised the masses, working within the American system, speeches. Importance: His non-militant views mean that govt. could support him , he had strong links with Kennedy and this brought him advantages eg being removed from Atlanta jail by attorney general Robert kennedy. It is clear how much govt. support helped , as when the relationship with Johnson broke down after MLK criticised the Vietnam war he faced trouble in organising and following through on his northern campaigns. Working withing the system made sure that whites were not alienated and gave people little ammunition against the movement, for example his agreeing with Kennedy to call of 2nd Montgomery march at the bridge. He used the media to his advantage, eg using Bull Connor’s violence during Birmingham campaign as during freedom rides this had attracted a lot of attention . During Birmingham campaigns Kennedy claimed to be “sickened” by images of police brutality, leading to JFK announcing bill that would end segregation was and for all. (By 1955 ½ of all homes had a television) He was a great orator, and to this day his “I have a dream speech” performed at the...
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