Civil Right Movement

Topics: Montgomery Bus Boycott, Martin Luther King, Jr., Southern Christian Leadership Conference Pages: 7 (2471 words) Published: December 7, 2012
Although equality was not achieved immediately, the events of the Civil Right’s movement brought about a huge amount of change. The civil rights movement was a concentrated period of time around the world of approximately one generation (1960-1980) where there was much worldwide civil unrest and popular rebellion. The process of moving toward equality under the law was long and tenuous in many countries, and most of these movements did not achieve or fully achieve their objectives. In the later years, of the civil rights movement many cases took a sharp turn. Martin Luther King played a huge part in it, from events like :the Montgomery Bus Boycott, to Selma, to the March on Washington.

During the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. captured the attention of the nation with his philosophy and commitment to the method of nonviolent resistance. According to Dr. King, nonviolence was the only solution that could cure society’s evils and create a just society. As King emerged as a leader in the civil rights movement, he put his beliefs into action and proved that nonviolence was an effective method to combat racial segregation. Prior to becoming a civil rights leader, King entered a theological seminar in 1948 where he began to concentrate on discovering a solution to end social ills. He came to the conclusion that, while the power of love was a compelling force when applied to individual conflicts, it could not resolve social problems. He believed the philosophies of "turn the other cheek" and "love your enemies" applied only to conflicts between individuals and not racial groups or nations. While at the seminar, King also read about Gandhi and his teachings. King was struck by the concept of satyagraha, which means truth-force or love-force. He realized that "the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom.” King, however, was still not convinced that nonviolent resistance was a feasible method in the United States. His acceptance of nonviolence would come years later during his involvement in the Montgomery bus boycott. It was at this time that King's earlier intellectual realization about the power of love was put into action. As nonviolent resistance became the force behind the boycott movement, his concerns were clarified. He recognized that nonviolent resistance was a powerful solution, and he committed himself to this method of action. King believed that there were six important points about nonviolent resistance. First, he argued that even though nonviolence may be perceived as cowardly, it was not. In fact, it was a method that did resist. According to King, a nonviolent protester was as passionate as a violent protester. Despite not being physically aggressive, "his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade the opponent that he is mistaken.” One of the people who practiced the non-violence that Martin Luther King preached was Rosa Parks. On December 1, 1955, forty-three year old Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery, Alabama city bus after finishing work as a tailor's assistant at the Montgomery Fair department store. As all black patrons were required to do, she paid her fair at the front of the bus and then re-boarded in the rear. She sat in a vacant seat in the back next to a man and across the aisle from two women. After a few stops, the seats in the front of the bus became full, and a white man who had boarded stood in the aisle. The bus driver asked Parks, the man next to her, and the two women across from her to let the white man have their seats. As the others moved, Parks remained in her seat. The bus driver again asked her to move, but she refused. The driver called the police, and she was arrested. She did not know it at the time, but this courageous act would lead to a 382 day bus boycott and the desegregation of buses throughout the...
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