Desegregation in America: Martin Luther King Jr.
“‘Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning.’” (Washington 218) said Martin Luther King Junior as he preached to the American Nation from the Washington capital. Dr. King refers to a dream of his, entailing the idea of a colorblind society where, “all men are created equal”, as stated in the American’ creed. Desegregation in America has come a long way since this speech in 1963. During this time, African Americans were belittled and harassed by whites people because they were unable to fight back. On numerous occasions black people were taken advantage of, tortured, raped, and even killed. Due to their status in our society, justice was frequently not served because they had no means of retaliation; they had no voice. Dr. King became the voice for African Americans in their fight against racism. His implementation of religion in his sermons, partnered with nonviolent protesting, attracted a multitude of supporters and brought national awareness to the violence and oppression that blacks were being forced to endure. Dr. King’s ability to motivate his followers through speeches and his sheer determination to never quit, inspired African Americans to make sacrifices to ensure a better future for their children. Though many have expressed their disapproval of racism in America, no one has made more of an impact on desegregation than Dr. King. Even after his death, the effects of King’s contributions can still be seen. King serves as a hero to all the advocates of desegregation in America, and his ability to overcome seemingly impossible tasks is an inspiration to all. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was exposed to the effects of racism at an early age. He was raised in a house with his brother and sister, his mother Alberta Williams King, and his father Martin Luther King Sr., a missionary for their local Baptist church. For the King’s the church was a safe haven from the racism and violence taking over Atlanta. Martin and his siblings sang in the church choir and would attend Sunday school sessions, where Martin began to find out how important his religion was to him. King excelled as a student, skipping 9th and 12th grade, and enrolling in Morehouse College at only fifteen. King had strong aspirations of pursuing a living that would allow him to implement his spiritually. Therefore he went on to receive bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Theology, as well as a Doctorate in Theology (Kirk 15). He wrote in a college essay, “‘Religion for me is life’” (Kirk 14), King was able to use his spiritual influence to bring about unique leadership as a Civil Rights activist. He was able to use the Bible as a bridge to connect with whites, seeing that it’s message is universal to all races; however, his accomplishments in the civil rights movement would only further endanger him and his loved ones. On two separate occasions, Dr. King’s home was bombed (Branch 47). He was put in prison over a dozen times. He received death threats to his home and in person telling him to stop protesting (Branch 50). As King refused to stand down, the oppression of African Americans began to grow and become more violent. The southern United States specifically, was not a safe place for blacks. White-power activists, such as The Order, White Patriot Party, and the notorious Ku Klux Klan, were determined to prolong racial segregation by any means necessary (Ramdin 2). Anyone in support of black rights was susceptible to the brutal treatment of these white supremacy groups, targeting the leaders of the black civil rights movement. The 1955 vice president of a Negro Leadership committee, Reverend George Lee, was shot in the head and killed for promoting negro-voting the state of Mississippi. Even though there were multiple witnesses to the shooting, no one was charged (Mendelsohn 44). Another occurrence of death due to the promotion of Negro voting in Mississippi is Lamar...
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