INTRODUCTION During decades Blacks were considered as slaves and servants for white people, they have been segregated, marginalized and humiliated because of the color of their skin. The explosion came on December 1955, when a black woman called Rosa Parks refuses to give her seat to a white man and was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama. The Local Civil Rights Leaders were hoping for such opportunity to resist and call for action with the help of a young Baptist minister called Dr Martin Luther King who was after elected as the president of the Local NAACP.
They led the black boycott of buses in 1955-1956 which was successful than anyone hoped so they gained a major victory in 1956 when the supreme court decision was that of banning segregated buses. This victory was one of the numerous achievements by Luther King. It is obvious that Martin Luther King played a major role in Civil Right Movement however there are people who think that he wasn’t the leader of the movement but just a facilitator to it.
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In my discussion I will consider his important goals and achievements as a prominent leader of this movement and in the second part I will gave arguments that he wasn’t always present and that his interests and perspectives had changed after a few years. I. Martin Luther King as a leader of Civil Right Movement: King along with some clergymen from other cities formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which advocated nonviolent and passive resistance as the means of securing equality for African Americans.
In August 28, 1963 King led the famous March on Washington sponsored by the SCLC. The march brought together more than 200,000 blacks and whites side by side calling for equal access to public facilities, quality of education and descent housing for African Americans, that’s when King delivered his Speech “I Have a Dream”. The march also helped to assure the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the year King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The following year King and the SCLC led a campaign for African-American voter registration centered on Selma, and tried to organize a march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, for March 7, 1965 but it was aborted because of police violence against the demonstrators. This event provoked national outrage but ends with a Voting Right Act in 1965. II. Martin Luther King’s others aims and goals: Some years later Martin Luther King left Montgomery to his home Atlanta where he became associate pastor along with his father, his work undone.
It is true that the buses were integrated but the schools were not, neither the parks nor the other public facilities. In 1965, King expressed his doubts about the United States’ role in the Vietnam War and delivered a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”, where he insists that the U. S. was in Vietnam to occupy it and not help it. This shows that King’s interests, however, widened from civil rights to include criticism of the Vietnam War and a deeper concern over poverty. CONCLUSION
It is true that Martin Luther King struggled against inequalities and racism and achieved many goals of The Civil Right Movement but still we cannot say that he was the leader of the movement or its organizer but rather, a facilitator to those achievement created by the Black’s revolt. Millions of Black’s were calling him “SAVIOR” and blessed his name, but one must not forget that King was not alone in the struggle since it was Rosa Parks who begin this revolution by not letting her seat to a white man, and many other men who helped him during the whole struggle.
King was able to involve even white people in the black’s struggle by his addiction to the non-violent protest, but this wasn’t enough to change Black’s situation. Moreover King suddenly changed his interests from civil rights movement to criticize politics and to talk about poverty. In my point of view King played the role of a symbolic leader but did not go far on it since he did not make all his promises.