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The Success Of Martin Luther King

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The Success Of Martin Luther King

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  • May 17, 2009
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Assess the Success of MLKMartin Luther King was crucial to the advancement of African Americans during the 1950s and 1960s. He changed the way that blacks thought about themselves and how whites thought about blacks. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, King inspired blacks, and whites, across the United States to protest for Civil Rights in a non-violent way. He was heavily involved in the planning and organization of many rallies and protests and his charisma suited the role well. His success was limited as there were many aspects of American culture that were still racist and because he did not achieve everything single handedly. The reaction to his assassination demonstrated how important he was in the civil rights movement, how much respect he had gained and how important he had been to the movement.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He came from a modest household and the church was a large part of his life due to his father being a Baptist preacher. King studied at Crozer Theological Seminary and became a Baptist pastor in Montgomery, Alabama. This is where he discovered the success of Gandhi's non-violent protests, in India, which would play an important part in his ideals later. King "became convinced that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom". Measuring success is different for every situation and often unobvious. For example, in a sporting contest, it is no success for one team to win by an overwhelming margin. It is a success if the match is more even and one team comes out victors. To measure Martin Luther King's success we need to analyse how successful he was at achieving what he set out to do.

Kings first demonstration of leadership came when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott. A black woman had not sat in a black area of the bus. The event sparked the Civil Rights Movement which had been building up since slavery. She was arrested and so King started...