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Martin Luther King was a strong African American activist that became one of the most visible spokespersons and leaders in the civil rights movement from 1954 until he was assassinated and then even so until now the present day. King believed that all races should be treated as equals. While other activists were fighting for freedom by “any means necessary,” including violence, King used the power in his words and the acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protest and civil disobedience to achieve almost impossible goals.
King led a brief life filled with many great accomplishments, working to promote equal treatment for all races. His nonviolent approach to protesting, his large crowd of followers, and his true belief in the ability of mankind to live in peace went a long way toward the advancement of civil rights. Martin Luther King did lots of things for African Americans like providing leadership in the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, delivering his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963, being an advocate for nonviolent protest in the Memphis Sanitation Worker Strike in 1968, and being instrumental in establishing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, a civil rights organization that supports the philosophy of nonviolence.
King accomplished many things but this task was not easy. King faced many obstacles while on his mission for equality. He was arrested over twenty times for protesting. He was the victim of several violent attacks, both to himself and his property. He also received threatening phone calls, his home was bombed and set afire, and he was even stabbed.
According to reporter Khadijah Jackson.
Martin Luther King is an important part of history because he didn’t just fight for African Americans he fought for all races to be equal, he had many accomplishments that lead to African Americans being treated equally, and he leads all of these great accomplishments by non-violent protest. King believed in fighting peacefully and that his tactics would be more effective than one that resulted in violence from both sides. He believed that if we fought with violence we would be no better than them and that this conflict would do nothing but anger both sides more.
Martin Luther King Jr. strived to raise the public consciousness of racism and to end racial discrimination and segregation in the United States. While his goal was racial equality, King plotted out a series of smaller objectives that involved local grassroots campaigns for equal rights for African Americans. In 1955, King became involved in his first major civil rights campaign in Montgomery, Alabama, where buses were racially segregated according to the article “MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR: FIGHTING FOR EQUAL RIGHTS IN AMERICA.”
Martin Luther King had many accomplishments some involving other people. Some of the accomplishments of Martin Luther King were the Montgomery Bus Boycott, his Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the March on Washington, and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, secretary of the local (NAACP), refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus and was arrested. Other Activists coordinated a bus boycott that would continue for 381 days, which put an economic strain on the public transit system and downtown business owners. They chose Martin Luther King, Jr. as the protest’s leader and official spokesman and King marched and because of this, the Supreme Court ruled segregated seating on public buses was unconstitutional in November 1956. For this reason, King entered the national spotlight as an inspirational proponent of organized, nonviolent resistance.
King had also become a target for white supremacists, who firebombed his family home that January. This was one of the many great accomplishments of Martin Luther King.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong, peaceful, faithful, but courageous man. King believed that “the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom” (King, Stride, 79; Papers 5:422). Martin Luther King acting in a nonviolent manner can arguably be one of the prime reasons why Martin Luther King is known to be one of the greatest activists and why the civil rights movement was so successful. King was first introduced to the concept of nonviolence when he read Henry David Thoreau’s Essay on Civil Disobedience as a freshman at Morehouse College according to the “Stanford Martin Luther King Research and Education Institute”. By having to grow up in Atlanta where he witnessed segregation and racism every day, King was “fascinated by the idea of refusing to cooperate with an evil system” (King, Stride, 73). According to the “Stanford Martin Luther King Research and Education Institute” While King committed and practiced nonviolence mentally, King did not experience the power of nonviolent direct action first-hand until the start of the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955. While in the boycott, King personally ordained Gandhian principles. King even decided not to use armed bodyguards even though there were threats on his life. King reacted to violent experiences such as the bombing of his home with compassion.
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