Martin Luther King

Topics: African American, Black people / Pages: 16 (3785 words) / Published: May 8th, 2013
Martin Luther King is the most important member of the Civil Rights movement of the 20th century. There has never been, nor will there ever be, one who is able to best the accomplishments which King achieved, as well as the inspiration which he motivated within millions of Americans, both who had been oppressed and those who felt the apathy for the oppressed, yet had never been inspired to act on their convictions. Martin Luther King brought these two people together in record numbers and in a way never seen before or since and incited within them, the desire to change the culture in which they lived and been affected by, for too long. The name of Martin Luther King was first brought onto the national stage with his involvement in the Birmingham Bus Boycott in 1955. (Garrow, 1981 pg. 123) Rosa Parks, a seamstress on her way home from work, refused to give up her seat to a white man while riding home on the bus one day. She was later given a fine. However, this enforcement of the law, something which had not changed over the last 60 years since the inception of the Jim Crow south, ignited a firestorm within the African American community. A boycott was called on all public transportation in the city of Birmingham Alabama. After 382 days of the boycott, the city officials ended racial segregation on public transportation. (Garrow, 1981 pg. 147) King was arrested during the campaign and his involvement, as well as a large availability to the national press, the name of Martin Luther King was flung onto the national stage. King, a Baptist preacher who had previously rejected any role in the civil rights movement in order to continue to care for his church, now devoted all of his time to the civil rights movement and would begin a dizzying and controversial rise in the history of the civil rights movement as well as in American history. There were a few characteristics that helped to make King stand out. The first was that he preached non violence civil


Cited: Abernathy, R. (1989) And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography Scribners: . New York: Harper & Row Commanger, H. S. (1969) Documents of American History. Vol. 2 New York: Century Press Garrow, D. (1981) The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Penguin Books Scott-King, C (1972) My Life with Martin Luther King Jr. New York, King, M. (1994) Letter From a Birmingham Jail. New York: Harper Collins Johnson, Mary. Jackson, T.F. ( 2006) From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Martin Luther King & The Civil Rights Movement. Boston: PBS Productions 2003 USA Today. Martin Luther King Jr. USA Today January 15, 2005 MLK’s I Have a Dream Speech http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm -----------------------

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