Martin Luther King Jr. and George Jackson

Martin Luther King Jr - Martin Luther King Jr. and George Jackson introduction. and George Jackson

During the 1940s to the 1950s, many of the minorities in the US experienced various forms of discrimination simply because of their ethnicity and the color of their skin. These circumstances prompted the minorities particularly the Black community to defy the status quo in order to be acknowledged as equals of the ruling majority race. Two distinguished Black personalities surfaced during this period that fought for equality and freedom from racial discrimination. They were Martin Luther King Jr. and George Jackson. This two may have fought for the same cause but their situations were completely different as well as their historical backgrounds.

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King was an achiever in school who had a bright future ahead of him. After his studies, he became a renowned religious pastor with thousands of supporters due to his charisma and advocacy for the promotion of civil rights (The Nobel Foundation, 1964). Meanwhile, Jackson at an early age had already experienced a life in confinement. He was convicted for several violations at the “Youth Authority Corrections facility in Paso Robles, Illinois.” At the age of 18, he was punished to be imprisoned for 1 year for “armed robbery, a felony, for robbing a gas station at gunpoint” (AbsoluteAstronomy.com, 2009).

More so, King supported and participated in many activities that upheld the campaign for equality and civil rights. One of his popular non-violent demonstrations was when he got involved in the Alabama bus boycott which aimed in challenging the existing law that segregated the whites from the black in a public transportation. Because of his defiance, King was arrested, abused and harassed but he surfaced as a Black revolutionary. On the other hand, Jackson experienced a different fate (The Nobel Foundation, 1964). In prison, Jackson established an activist group with a Marxist orientation. Also, when he was ordered for solitary confinement, he made the most of it by studying “political economy and radical theory.” He was also able to write a book about his experiences called “Blood in My Eye and Soledad Brother” (AbsoluteAstronomy.com, 2009). Furthermore, Jackson was further punished and incarcerated because he was Black and because of his belief that Blacks are not meant to be subservient to anyone. Many believed that his murder was provoked by his activism and his solicitation for support within the prison (Rodney, 1971).

Through the efforts of King and Jackson, both have gained admirers, supporters and accolades. King was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize because of his efforts in alleviating the status of the minority (The Nobel Foundation, 1964). Meanwhile, Jackson served as an inspiration for many young Black Americans who were struggling to fit in with the society. Also, many have sympathized with what he went through when he was in prison (AbsoluteAstronomy.com, 2009).

Despite King and Jackson’s different backgrounds and method of activism, they were still able to emerge as two distinct revolutionaries in their respective eras that fought for equality and freedom from racial discrimination.

References

AbsoluteAstronomy.com. (2009). George Jackson (Black Panther). Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/George_Jackson_(Black_Panther)

Rodney, W. (1971, November). George Jackson: Black Revolutionary. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/rodneyjackson.html

The Nobel Foundation. (1964). Martin Luther King Jr. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html

 

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