Martin Luther King
Research Task (200 words in total)
1. In that ways were the African-American people treated differently from white people in the USA in the 1950s.
African-Americans were separated from white people by law and discriminated against by the white people. They were referred to as ‘Negros’, which was an insensitive word to call the African-Americans. White people separated children from African-American families and there were ‘coloured’ seats for African-American on public buses.
2. Explain the significant event that took place – propelling King into leadership of the Civil Rights movement?
On December 1, 1955, 42 year-old Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home from a tiring day at work. She sat on the ‘colored’ seats but as several other white passengers boarded, the driver asked them to give up their seats. The other African-Americans reluctantly gave up their seats but Rosa Parks refused and stayed seated. She was arrested for violating the Montgomery City Code and in her trial a week later, she was found guilty, fined $10 and assessed $4 court fee. One the same night as Rosa Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon met with Martin Luther King Jr. and other local civil right leaders to plan a citywide bus boycott. King was elected to lead because of his three significant traits: his young age, well trained with strong family connections and professional standing. He became the national face of the civil rights movement.
3. What were King’s fundamental beliefs about justice, equality and God?
Martin Luther King was born into a Christian home with a preacher father. He went to a Christian college and graduated at 15. He became a minister of a church and married a Christian woman. His strong bonds with God were developed rapidly due to his Christian background in his childhood. His fundamental belief about justice and equality was the unfair and brutal treatment of his people in a modern, white society.