Martin Luther King

Topics: Montgomery Bus Boycott, African American, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 5 (1610 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Martin Luther King

The most important person to have made a significant change in the rights of Blacks was Martin Luther King. He had great courage and passion to defeat segregation and racism that existed in the United States, and it was his influence to all the Blacks to defy white supremacy and his belief in nonviolence that lead to the success of the Civil Rights movement.

Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia where the city suffered most of the racial discrimination in the South, and, in addition, the Ku Klux Klan had one of it's headquarters there. But it was his father, Martin Luther King Sr. who played an important role in shaping the personality of his son. M.L. Sr. helped to advocate the idea that Blacks should vote. He was involved with the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, an important Civil Rights group. These efforts to improve the way of life for Blacks could be seen by his son.

In December 5, 1955 King began to be significant in the changing of the Black man's way of life. The boycott of the Montgomery Bus was begun when Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat on a bus to a white man on December 1st. Two Patrolmen took her away to the police station where she was booked. He and 50 other ministered held a meeting and agreed to start a boycott on December 5th, the day of Rosa Parks's hearing. This boycott would probably be successful since 70% of the riders were black. The bus company did not take them seriously, because if there was bad weather, they would have to take the bus. The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) was established to co-ordinate the boycott. They had a special agreement with black cab companies, in which they were allowed to get a ride for a much cheaper price than normal. Blacks had to walk to work, and so they did not have time to do any shopping and therefore the sales decreased dramatically. On January 30, while M.L was making a speech, his house was bombed. Luckily his wife and baby had left the living room when the bomb exploded, but a black mob formed and was angry about what had happened, and Policemen were sent to the scene to control the situation, even though they were outnumbered. King, however, because of his strong belief in nonviolence, urged the crowd to not use their guns and to go home.

The news coverage increased on the Montgomery boycott as months passed. He travelled to many places and made speeches in order to raise money for the MIA's legal fees. When he returned he found that he was charged for breaking an anti-boycott law. He and the others were found guilty, but they appealed the sentence. When in November 13, the MIA was fined $15,000, at the same time, the Supreme Court found the Alabama's segregation laws were unconstitutional. That night the KKK looted 40 cars in hopes of scaring the Blacks. But the black people did not hide in their homes and turn the lights off. They stayed on their porches and waved showing that they were not afraid of them at all. By 1957 Martin Luther King became a national figure. Time magazine wrote a story on him, and his ideology of nonviolence began to spread throughout the country. The boycott gave a strong psychological push of courage that would continue until Blacks obtained what was morally right.

What made Martin Luther King striking was his conviction on
non-violence. He believed that this belief could give blacks a superior level of morality over whites. This ideology was important for his success in later years. As a result, it helped restrain the use of violence from whites to blacks and vice versa. This philosophy was tested during the Montgomery bus boycott. Before the successful boycott, blacks used violence in order to protest racism. During the boycott, however, on both sides violence was not a measure to be taken. When someone bombed King's home, the fact that violence was used against a nonviolent group made the idea of the black man's...
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