“One of the world’s best known advocates of non-violent social changestrategies, Martin Luther King, Jr.
synthesized ideas drawn from many differentcultural traditions.” (Carson 1). However, these protest strategies onlyfurthered racial segregation, resulting in the eventual death of King.
Michael King, who was later known as Martin Luther King, Jr. was bornJanuary 15, 1929, at 501 Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. His roots were inthe African-American Baptist church. After his junior year at Morehouse College,Benjamin Mays influenced him to become a minister, the president of MorehouseCollege.
(Smith 1). He studied theologies at Crozer Theological Seminary inChester, Pennsylvania, and at Boston University, where he earned a doctorate insystematic theologies in 1955. (Carson 1). While he was completing his Ph. D.
requirements, Martin Luther King, Jr. decided to return to the south. He becamethe pastor of Dextor Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. (Smith 2).
Five days after Rosa Parks refused to obey the city’s rules concerningbus segregation, African-American residents of Montgomery, Alabama launched abus boycott. They elected Martin Luther King, Jr. as president of the MontgomeryImprovement Association. (Phillips 3). King received national prominence as theboycott continued, due to his personal courage and exceptional oratical skills.
On charges on conspiracy, Martin Luther King, they bombed Jr.’s house,and they arrested him along with other boycott leaders. (Mark 3). Despite theseactions taken against the boycott, Montgomery buses were desegregated inDecember of 1956. The Supreme Court had declared Alabama’s laws of segregationunconstitutional.
During 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other African-Americanministers established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Aspresident of the organization, King emphasized the importance of African-American voting rights. (Phillips 5). King published his first book, StrideToward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. In 1959, he toured India to increase hisknowledge and understanding of Gandhian non-violent strategies. By the end ofthat year, King relinquished the pastorate of Dextor, and returned to Atlanta,where the Southern Christian Leadership Conference headquarters was located.
Martin Luther King, Jr. did not arrange any mass protest activitiesduring the first five years to follow the Montgomery bus boycott. While King wascautious, southern, African-American college students took the initiative,launching many sit-in protests during the winter and spring of 1960. (Itory 3). Conflicts between Martin Luther King, Jr. and the younger protestors wereevident when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference assisted the AlbanyMovement’s campaign both of mass protest during December of 1961 and during thesummer of 1962. (Phillips 2).
In 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. and his staff guided mass demonstrationsin Birmingham, Alabama, where local, white police officials were known for theiranti-black attitudes. President Kennedy reacted to the protests by submittingcivil rights legislations to Congress, which passed the Civil Rights Act of 1963.
(Mark 5). In 1963 he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the stepsof the Lincoln Memorial, attracting 250,000 protestors. (Phillips 4).
In 1966, while participating in a march, he encountered strong criticismfrom Stokely Carmichael. Shortly afterwards white counter protestors stabbed him.
in the Chicago area. Despite these conflicts, King still used non-violentprotesting techniques. (Phillips 5).
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s effectiveness was not only limited bydivisions among African-Americans, but by national political leaders. As urbanracial violence escalated in the south, and King criticized Americanintervention in the Vietnam War, King lost the support of many white liberals.
His relations with the Lyndon Johnson administration were at a low pont whenMartin Luther Ling, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while seeking toassist a garbage worker’s strike in Memphis. (Itory 5).
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man who believed that all people werecreated equally. His methods were unconventional; his beliefs were insurgent.
However, time has proven that all progress has been made only whenunconventional methods were employed. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s aspires andcrusades went against those of political authorities and other prominent people.
Because of this, he was considered dangerous. His assassins committed an act ofcowardice. Selfish people assassinated him, who could not see the truth inKing’s words.
White people were not the only ones who objected. Northern, African-Americans did not agree with Martin Luther King, Jr. either.
“After his death, King remained a controversial symbol of the Afrcian-American civil rights struggle, revered by many for his martyrdom on behalf ofnon-violence and condemned by others for his militancy and insurgent views.”(Carson 3).
Cite this The Assassination of MLK
The Assassination of MLK. (2019, Mar 04). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-assassination-of-mlk/