Martin Luther King And Civil Rights Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Martin Luther King, Civil Rights, America, United States, Leadership, Politics, Nation, Democracy

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/03/18

The Civil Rights Movement resulted in an upsurge of many leaders, and resulted in many social and economic changes that were the outcome of organized civil rights proceedings that were performed throughout the South of America by organizations and groups committed to eradicating segregation, and offering the African American community the ability to chase the American dream (Nelson, 2002). The most significant civil rights leader throughout this time was Martin Luther King Jr., and the greatest occasion that happened during the crusade was the struggle to advance equality and democracy in voting rights for Africa Americans, that intensified in Selma, Alabama (McWhorter, 2004).
Martin Luther King Jr. was considered the leader of the Civil Right Movements and the principal backer to the African American’s struggle to attain equality (McWhorter, 2004). In addition, he was a very powerful speaker and the key figure amongst Africa American civil rights leaders. He negotiated ideas of employing non-violent civil defiance and insubordination into Africa American sit-ins, marches, and bus boycotts resulted in a number of social and economic changes, that bring about in African-Americans achieving their goal of getting whole equality under the regulation, and fair dealing from Southern segregationists. This non-violent tactic rewarded Luther with a Noble Peace Prize and contributed the African American’s fight universal care (Nelson, 2002).
The chief motive why Martin Luther King Jr. was a very significant symbol during the period was his capability to impact not only African American people, but also people in spots of power, including President Johnson and Kennedy. During these short times that he fought for civil rights, the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act were approved;, schools, buses and lunch counters were integrated; and the Equal Opportunity Commission was made (Ward, 1996). His determination contributed to the Civil Rights Movement domestic and universal devotion, and he narrowed the segregation gap between white and black Americans (McWhorter, 2004).

Martin Luther King Jr. Involvement in Montgomery Bus Boycott

For a year King and his family had been staying in Montgomery when the extremely segregated city converted into the epicenter of the escalating fight for civil rights in southern America, spurred by the milestone on the decision of Brown v Topeka Board of Education of 1954 (McWhorter, 2004). On 1st of December, 1955, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People secretary, declined to offer her seat on a Montgomery bus for a white passenger and was arrested. Many activists organized a bus boycott that was to last for 381 days, assigning austere economic tension on the public transportation system and downtown commercial owners. Martin Luther King Jr. was considered as the official spokesman and the protests leader (Ward, 1996).
The Supreme Court ruled in November 1956 that isolated seating on community buses illegal and unconstitutional Martin Luther King was heavily predisposed by activists Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) and Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) and had gone into the nationwide limelight as a motivating protagonist of structured, diplomatic opposition. He had also grown into an aim for white racists, who firebombed and tormented his family home the previous January (Nelson, 2002). Encouraged by the boycott’s triumph, in 1957 he and many other civil rights activists who were fellow ministers at the newly established Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a crowd dedicated to attaining full equality for blacks through diplomacy. Martin Luther King would continue at the wheel of this influential and powerful group until his demise (McWhorter, 2004).

Martin Luther King Engagement in Southern Christian Leadership Conference

In his responsibility as SCLC president, King toured across the nation and around the world, offering lectures on civil rights and peaceful protest as well as a conference with religious leaders, activists, and political leaders. During a long trip to India, he had the chance to meet followers of Gandhi, the person he labeled as the controlling light of our method of peaceful social change. Martin Luther King also authored numerous articles and books during this time (McWhorter, 2004).
Later in 1960 King and his family relocated to Atlanta, his intuitive city, serving at Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father. The new role did not deter King and the SCLC associates from becoming important players in most of the most major civil rights fights of the 1960s. Their idea of diplomacy and peacefulness was put to a predominantly crucial test during the 1963 Birmingham campaigns, in which activism involved boycotts, marches and sit-ins to protest unfair hiring practices, other injustices and segregation in one of America’s racially and socially divided cities (McWhorter, 2004). On 12th of April the same year he was arrested for his participation and connection with the demonstration. Martin Luther King confined the civil rights statement referred to in “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” eloquent defense of civil rebellion spoken to an organization of white clergymen who profusely criticized and condemned his tactics (Nelson, 2002).

Luther Marches for Freedom

During the same year, Martin Luther King Jr. functioned with a number of religious and civil rights groups to consolidate the March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs, a nonviolent political rally intended to shed light on the discriminations and prejudices on African Americans constantly faced the nation. On August 28 of the same year, Luther organized a mass march attended by about 200,000 to 300,000 partakers, the occasion is extensively considered as a turning point moment in the American civil rights movement history and a factor in the passage of the 1964 Constitutional Civil Rights Act (McWhorter, 2004).
The march ended in King’s most legendary speech, known as the “I Have a Dream”, a vigorous call for equality and peace that many deliberates as a masterpiece of bombast. Standing in the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial Monument. The president considered to have a century earlier had ended the institution of human slavery in the United States, Luther shared his dream of a future where the nation country will rise from its states and live out the real sense of it's on creed: In addition he believed that the truths were self-evident, and everyone was created equal therefore needed equal; treatment. The march and the speech paved Martin Luther King’s status locally and universally which later that year played a huge role in the TIME magazine naming him Man of the Year and in 1964 befitted as the youngest individual ever conferred the Nobel Peace Prize (McWhorter, 2004).
In1965 during springs, Martin Luther King’s raised profile drew universal consideration to the violence that exploded between peaceful demonstrators and white segregationists in Selma, Alabama. In this violence, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and SCLC had planned a voter registration movement (McWhorter, 2004). It was captured on television, the ruthless scene annoyed many Americans and enthused supporters from across the nation to gather in Selma and participate in a march to Montgomery headed by King and reinforced by President Lyndon Johnson, who had sent in federal troops to ensure that peace existed. The then August Congress approved the Voting Rights Act, which assured the right to vote and became the first endowed all Africa American by the 15th Amendment (Nelson, 2002).

Martin Luther King Jr.’s last moments and Assassination

After the successful events in Selma, it developed a rising rift between Martin Luther King and young radicals who renounced his peaceful methods and pledged to support the recognized political structure. With more militant Africa American leaders such as Stokely Carmichael rose to fame, Martin Luther King widened the range of his activism to discourse matters such as poverty among Americans and the Vietnam War. In 1967, the SCLC and King embarked on a motivated project referred to as the Poor People’s Campaign, a movement that was to include a huge march on the capital.
On April 4, 1968 in the evening, King was seriously shot standing on the balcony in Memphis in a motel, where he traveled to back a sanitation workers’ demonstration (McWhorter, 2004).
Immediately after his death, a wave of demonstrations brushed many major cities across the nation while President Johnson acknowledged and called for a national day of grief (McWhorter, 2004). James Earl Ray a runaway convict and recognized racist, was found guilty of the murder of Martin Luther King and was charged for 99 years in prison. Later he recanted his admission and gained some dubious advocates, including some members of Martin Luther King family. He later died in 1998 (Nelson, 2002).
After several years of campaigning by human activists, members of Coretta Scott King and members of Congress moved a bill and in 1983 President Ronald Reagan put to paper a bill making a U.S. national holiday in remembrance of King. It is observed every third Monday of January (McWhorter, 2004). Therefore, Martin Luther King Jr. played a big role in United States Civil Rights Movements.


Nelson, R. (2002). Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Co.
McWhorter, D. (2004). A dream of freedom: The civil rights movement from 1954 to 1968. New York: Scholastic.

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