Martin Luther King- Civil Rights Patriot
Nearly three centuries ago, African slaves were brought to the New World
and put into slavery. African slaves were treated more cruelly in the United
States than in any other country that had ever practiced slavery, and
ever since its prohibition, African-Americans have fought oppression.
Martin Luther King Jr., would aid immensely in this fight.
He was born in Atlanta Georgia in 1929. His father, Martin Luther King
Sr. Was a Baptist minister and also preached for civil rights. By the
time he was 17 he had decided to follow his fathers footsteps, so he
himself was ordained as a minister.
After his graduation from the Crozer Theological Seminary, when he began
postgraduate work at Boston University, he studied the works of Indian
nationalist Mohandas Gandhi, from whom he derived his own philosophy of
He moved to Alabama to become pastor for a Baptist church. Just after he
received his Ph.D. in 1955, King was asked to lead a bus boycott in
Montgomery. It had been formed after Rosa Parks was arrested for
refusing to give her seat to a white passenger. Throughout the 381 days
which the boycott lasted, he was arrested and jailed, repeatedly
threatened, and his home was bombed. The boycott ended later that year
when the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public transportation.
This was his first victory and alone made Dr. King a highly respected
When he went to India in 1959, he studied Gandhiís principle of
"Satyagraha" or nonviolent persuasion, which he planned to use for his
social protests. In the following year he decided to move back to
Atlanta to become copastor with his father.
In 1963 he was back in Birmingham, Alabama, where he led a massive civil
rights campaign, organizing drives for black voter registration,
desegregation, and better education throughout the South. During that
time he led the unforgettable March on Washington where he delivered his
famous "I Have a Dream" speech to millions of viewers across the nation.
The next year he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
He went on to launching his first major northern campaign in Chicago.
Black Baptists were there opposing him, and a mob of club carrying Ku
Klux Klan members and Neo-Nazis met his marchers.
With all that he had said and done, on April 3, 1983 he said "I have
been to the mountain top and seen the promise land." This was the day
prior to his demise. Sadly, the following day he was shot to death in
Memphis Tennessee. Nearly 500,000 of his loyal admirers attended his
funeral. It was the end of his civil rights crusade. "A man who wonít
die for something is not fit to live" he had once said. That day he died
for civil rights, he died for his dream.
Prejudices have always and will always exist among people. The
prejudices this nation faces now, and has faced for years is racial
oppression and segregation. Martin Luther King had a dream. He didnít
want people to be "judged by the color of their skin, but the content of
their character." He was determined that the dream would become a
reality, and in most ways it did. The rights of the people are now
equal. Any person, regardless of his race can do anything. No longer is
the African-American community limited in their rights or segregated
from society. We have all grown closer to racial unity.
Despite all of this, racism remains in the minds of people, and hate
crimes as well as white supremacist organizations still exist. If racism
itself is ever eliminated, it will only fade away with time, being
replaced by another prejudice belittling a part of society. Prejudices
have proven to be inevitable in human society and will continue until
the end of time. Martin Luther King Jr. played a major part in todayís
problem, and will have an impact on what is to come.
BACK TO DIRECTORY |
BACK TO SUB
DIRECTORY: BLACK ISSUES
found term papers you were looking for:
With a team of experienced writers and excellent researchers to
back them up, we guarantee to match your needs, for all subjects
and topics. Expert Term paper Service beyond expectations is our