Martin Luther King Jr.
is one of the most well-known and accomplished sociativists in history. He was the leader of a passionate campaign to promote equal rights for all Americans(martin Luther King Jr. pg.1). In his fight for equal rights king believed in passive resistance he fought guns and bombs with words and ideas. King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. His parents where Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. As a child he attended segregated public schools, and was forced to follow other laws called the Jim Crow laws(Martin Luther King Jr.). King went to college at crozer college in Pennsylvania. At Crozer they are taught king about Gandhi. Gandhi inspired him to use passive resistance to defeat the Jim Crow laws(Kay pg.21). Martin Luther King Jr. changed society by leading the boycott in Birmingham, assisting with sit-ins and freedom rides, and writing the I have a dream speech. On December 1, 1955 a women named Rosa parks refused to give up her seat(Kay pg.
31).. Segregation on buses was one of many unfair Jim Crow laws. Rosa parks was arrested. The word of Rosa’s arrest spread quickly. The angry African-Americans came up with a plan to boycott the buses. King heard about the boycott, and decided to help them. King and the other leaders came up with the idea to make fliers to help spread the word. The editor of the Montgomery newspaper and made an article against the boycott. Even though it was against the boycott it helped make the boycott a success (Kay pg.
35). The morning the boycott started the buses that were usually packed was completely empty. To help the African-Americans to work the Montgomery improvement Association (MIA) rounded up hundreds of cars to start a carpooling service to drive them to work(Kay pg.37). The bus drivers and police were furious. The mayor told the police to arrest the boycott leaders. The first to be arrested was king. An angry crowd formed in front of the city hall jail demanding kings release. The jailer set him free in fear the angry mob would break into the jail. He was not free for long he was arrested over and over. The police were not the only ones trying to stop King. Someone threw a bomb on kings porch while his kids were inside. When King arrived he told the angry crowd they must use peaceful ways to fight for freedom(Kay pg. 45). Soon after King was arrested again and fined $500. In court they tried to make the MIA carpools illegal. King sat discouraged in the courtroom, but to his surprise the judge said that segregation on city buses was against the law (Kay pg.47). The boycott lasted 381 days and is considered the first mass protests for civil rights in America. King was praised for his role in the boycott and his call for nonviolence. King’s success gave him a prominent leader in the national civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr. and the other boycott leaders met in Atlanta. In Atlanta they formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, or (SCLC). King told the people who joined they must have the courage to refuse to fight back (Kay pg.50). King spoke out to people everywhere. He Courage to join the SCLC. On February 1960, Four African-American students walked into a Woolworth labeled whites only, and requested lunch. The waitress refused to serve them, but they did not give up they came day after day ( Kay pg.53). Soon sit-ins started in 14 other cities. Although the students where being beaten and burned with cigarettes, and still they returned day after day. Until at last the jim crow stores gave up, and agreed to allow all Americans to eat at their restaurants(Kay pg.56). The SCLC was not stopping their they started a new campaign that they called freedom rides. Freedom rides took place on buses traveling state to state that were still segregated. The first freedom ride was on May 4, 1961 thirteen freedom riders they sat on the front of the bus and at every stop ate at restaurants labeled whites only(Kay pg.57). When they came to Alabama a group of people cut the bus tires, and followed them out of the city. When the bus tired went flat the group of people caught the bus on fire, and watched them run frightened off the bus. Then they attacked the freedom rides (Kay pg.58). The next group of freedom rides help a meeting in a church. As king gave the freedom riders courage an angry crowd started to throw rocks. As the windows shattered king continued giving courage to the frightened people inside (Kay pg.58). The freedom riders did not let anyone stop them they started new freedom rides, And the freedom rides went on for months. The support for the freedom rides grew stronger. The U.S government was tired of all the trouble, and decided to make segregation on all buses, trains, and waiting rooms against the law (Kay pg.59). King and the other had won, but king knew his fight was not over yet. Martin Luther King Jr. next fight against the Jim Crow laws was in Birmingham Al. Birmingham was considered the worst Jim Crow law city in America. King led a group of thousand toward the city hall. As they arrived to city hall the police where waiting on them. They arrested all the marchers (Kay pg. 64). As Soon as they got out of jail they were marching again. Although the police got tougher they beat them with clubs, use police dogs to attack them and sprayed them with fire hoses. Then king and the other leaders came up with a hazardous plan. They decided on a children’s march, because they thought the police could not be that cruel to children (Kay pg.65). They were wrong the police did let up the beat the children with clubs, attacked them with police dogs, sprayed them with fire hoses, and put them in jail at ages as young as six. The country was in shock. Although the children’s march was a huge tragedy, it caused thousands upon thousands to join the march. The local leaders could not take it any longer. They met with the marchers leaders and promised to end the Jim Crow laws (Kay pg. 67). The success in Birmingham gave people all over the world courage to march for freedom. Their were marches in eight hundred different cities. On August 28, 1963 King and 250,000 people marched to Washington D.C many of the leaders had speeches, but none of the other leaders speeches would live up to kings (Kay pg.69). His speech I have a dream has inspired millions and will continue to do so as the years go by. During his speech he talked about how one day blacks and whites would join together with no discrimination. When he finished his speech half of the marchers were crying (Kay pg.71). Although his speech is one that will never be forgotten it wasn’t enough. Less than three weeks later someone threw a bomb at a black church it killed four little girls (Kay pg.72). Then president John f. Kennedy was shot, and kill. The Vice President Lyndon Johnson became president. In memory of John f Kennedy Johnson passed the civil rights bill. In 1964 president Johnson sighted the civil rights bill with king standing behind him (Kay pg.74). This was a great victory, but king knew he would have to keep marching. Under kings influence, the civil rights movement gained attention and respect (How did MArtin Luther King Jr. Change the World? pg.1) Martin Luther king’s success in Montgomery had a huge impact on society. His success is in Montgomery is what gave him a permanent place in the civil rights movement. Kings outlook on how to fight for freedom. Is how they won the sit-ins and it gave hope in inspiration to fight for their freedom.Martins success in Birmingham gave millions of hope and inspiration. Americans will never forget his sacrifices to end segregation. Martin Luther King Jr. changed society by leading the boycott in Birmingham, assisting with sit-ins and freedom rides, and writing the I have a dream speech. Although his life was cut short, king left a lasting legacy that continues to shape the world today( Martin Luther King Jr. pg.1). America will never forget in journey in the civil rights movement.